Former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley conceded the Democratic primary for borough president to Donovan Richards last July as she found herself in second place in a five-person field.
At the time, Richards said, “I admire her commitment to Queens and look forward to working with her to unite our borough moving forward into November.”
Now Crowley is thinking of running against Richards again.
“I definitely want to serve the people of Queens and I’m considering running,” Crowley told the Chronicle Monday.
She said she doesn’t believe people would be unhappy that she would run again only months after conceding an election for the same seat.
“The process is good: you campaign, candidates put platforms up, there are forums,” Crowley said, adding, “It’s a different type of election than last year.”
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) dropped out of last year’s Democratic primary for borough president early in the race to care for his mother but announced last week that he is running again. Van Bramer faces being term-limited out of office at the end of the year.
Unlike last year, Richards will run as an incumbent, but Crowley said she doesn’t see it as a big difference.
“It’s not like he’s been serving for a long time,” she said, noting Richards was sworn into office in late December.
Crowley highlighted affordable housing, small businesses, health and education as main problems. “We need to make sure that we have a plan to open every classroom for safe, indoor learning,” she said, adding, “An effective borough president can plan economic development.”
Crowley also hopes transportation dollars could be used not only to help the MTA but to plan new projects, such as opening the Long Island Rail Road’s Lower Montauk line that runs between Long Island City and Jamaica to passenger trains, or reviving the Rockaway Beach Line.
She said resources should come to the borough that was hurt most first and that the borough president can work with U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), now the Senate majority leader.
“There’s clearly a lot that the borough president can do to make the borough stronger,” Crowley said. “It’s not just ceremonial. There’s a lot of respect that comes with the position and you have an opportunity now like no other to strike while the iron is hot.”
Crowley was last in office in 2017, when she narrowly lost her re-election bid to Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village). Holden ran on the Republican line after losing to Crowley in the Democratic primary months earlier.
A nonpartisan special election for borough president was called after District Attorney Melinda Katz took her new office but was later canceled by Gov. Cuomo due to Covid. Former prosecutor Jim Quinn, who was not in any party primary, was knocked off the ballot.
In the Democratic primary, Richards received 35.8 percent of the vote with Crowley getting 28.8 percent.
Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) received 18 percent, retired NYPD Sgt. Anthony Miranda received 12.5 percent and businessman Dao Yin got 4.7 percent. Richards went on to defeat Queens GOP Chairwoman Joann Ariola and Yin in the general election.
Richards was sworn in last December for a term that ends Dec. 31, 2021.
The borough president primary will feature ranked-choice voting, in which the winner needs a majority of the vote and votes are reallocated until a candidate gets it.
Crowley was asked if she believed Richards, Van Bramer or herself would get a majority if she ran.
“None of us are going to get 50 percent off the bat,” she said.
If no candidate receives 50 percent, the last-place finisher is eliminated and voters who picked that candidate will have their second choice counted. The process continues until a candidate receives a majority.