With the special election for borough president less than three weeks away, candidates are touting the endorsements they have gained on the journey to the highest seat in the county, with three of them also qualifying for public matching campaign funds.
As of Feb. 28, the city Campaign Finance Board issued public matching funds payments to those three candidates running for borough president totaling $923,422. The CFB has distributed those funds to candidates who have met a two-part fundraising threshold.
Under the new limits and thresholds where borough president candidates are concerned the CFB provides public matching funds to qualifying candidates at a matching rate of 8-to-1 for the first $175 contributed by city residents. Each contribution from a city resident is eligible for a maximum matching funds payment of $1,400. The grand total including earlier contributions equals $1,897,914. To date, Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) has received $584,079; former Assemblywoman Elizabeth Crowley $867,202 and Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) $446,633.
Constantinides has received endorsements by his peers including Assemblymembers Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and Aravellas Simotas (D-Astoria), state Sens. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Jessica Ramos (D-East Elmhurst). The Astoria-born Constantinides, 45, represents western Queens and chairs the Committee on Environmental Protection. His legislative accomplishments include the Climate Mobilization Act, a Green New Deal for New York City including the ambitious 80 percent reduction by 2050 of carbon emissions commitment. He is running on a progressive Democratic platform. Additional endorsements, for the man who was once the manager of a KayBee toy store, include the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the Communications Workers of America Local 1106, which largely represents Verizon employees; UFCW Local 1500; Teamsters Local 814 and 553; the Stonewall Democrats of NYC and the New Queens Democrats. He also been endorsed by IUOE Local 94 and Teamsters Joint Council 16,
Crowley, of Glendale, has so far been endorsed by TWU Local 100, IBEW Local Union 3, UA Plumbers Local 1, Uniformed Firefighters Association, Uniformed Fire Officers Association, Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 28, CWA Local 1180, the New American Voters Association, former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman and most recently the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. Crowley is fighting for what she calls a “21st-century transit system,” in the borough. She also pledges to fight the surge in bias-related crimes and help clean up the borough’s water supply and air quality. And, she vows to be a champion for women’s empowerment.
Richards has received support from the Queens County Democratic Party, New York Hotel Trades Council, United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, DC 37, Local 372, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, the Alliance of South Asian American Labor, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens), Assemblymembers Cathy Nolan (D-Sunnyside), Nily Rozic and David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows). He also recently earned support from former Queens Borough President Claire Schulman. He is in favor of closing Riker’s Island, building affordable housing and improving transportation.
Retired NYPD sergeant Anthony Miranda, of Fresh Meadows, has raised $70,000 and has been endorsed by the Community Alliance group and Voice of Pakistani Americans. Miranda wants to help right the wrongs created by the former administration.
Jim Quinn, a former top Queens assistant district attorney, so far has raised $79,000. He pledges to keep Riker’s Island open stating that crime and the restoration of law and order are the biggest issues facing Queens. The Richmond Hill resident has been endorsed by the Queens County Republican Party, the Queens County Conservative Party, the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) and former state Sen. Serf Maltese.
Dao Yin, of Bayside, is a former corporate controller, and former executive general manager of a robotics company who has raised $60 thousand is endorsed by no one.
Early voting for this election begins on Saturday, March 14, and continues through Sunday, March 22. Election Day is Tuesday, March 24.