Middle Village native Craig Caruana wants the Republican Party to take back the 30th District City Council seat and said he’s the man for the job when he announced his candidacy in front of the Little League clubhouse in Glendale on Monday.
“We are lacking leadership in this district,” Caruana said in front of family, friends and supporters. “What we need is someone who will take responsibility for what happens in Queens.”
Caruana, who until recently was working as an information specialist at the Fox News channel, has been making the rounds around the 30th District, which consists of Middle Village, Maspeth, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Ridgewood and Glendale.
In recent weeks, the new candidate has made appearances at Community Board 5 and the 104th Precinct Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol meetings in hopes of appealing to district residents. He also serves on the Juniper Park Civic and Kiwanis Club of Glendale boards.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) attended the campaign kickoff, praising and fully endorsing Caruana’s abilities to make a good councilman.
“This district needs a council member who will fight for the residents,” he said. “The people in this district really need a fighter who will take on the responsibilities, and Craig will do that.”
Ulrich, who attended high school with Caruana, went on to say that starting with the residents and not government hotshots or political groups is what will push the candidate to the top.
“Behind the scenes, Craig has already gotten support from many district leaders,” Ulrich said. “When I ran, the odds of a Republican winning were 3 to 1, but I made sure I got the support of the community first, which is how I won. Craig will get on the ballot, no doubt. He has the grassroots support and, most importantly, he has common sense.”
“I know he will do a tremendous job,” former Congressman Bob Turner said. “Craig, you’re a winner.”
Caruana also addressed what he called missteps current Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) made throughout her term.
“Property taxes have gone up 11 times over the past 10 years,” Caruana said. “And when you ask Councilwoman Crowley about it, she says it’s complicated. Water rates have also increased, and yet it was met by a stunning silence of indifference from the councilwoman.”
Caruana went on to criticize the councilwoman for bringing in the least amount of discretionary funding in the entire borough.
“What does the councilwoman say about the lack of money coming into this district?” Caruana asked. “She complains that the 30th District doesn’t receive funds because the speaker is mean and doesn’t like her. These are all excuses. We need someone who doesn’t complain about colleagues but who works with them.”
Among the dozen or so friends and family members at the kickoff was Caruana’s 96-year-old grandfather, whom the candidate refers to as his role model.
Two of the top issues Caruana wishes to address include expanding education options including tax breaks for parochial and charter schools and backing small businesses by curbing the “nickel and dime” fines that affect many small businesses in Queens.
“We can’t change everything but we can change our neighborhood,” he said.