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Scarborough faces GOP candidate in Nov.

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State Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-St. Albans) is looking forward to his fifth term in the state Legislature, but a fourth-generation Republican is hoping he can change that.

In the November general election, Scarborough is slated to face Gerard Borriello, a Rosedale resident and Republican state committeeman to represent the 29th District in southeast Queens.

Scarborough, who was elected to the Assembly in 1994, has spent most of his life in the 29th Assembly District. The district includes parts of Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Laurelton, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens. Before being elected to the Assembly, Scarborough served as district manager for Community Board 12 and as a member of School Board 28.

Since joining the Assembly, Scarborough has focused on health care, education and youth services issues. He worked with the energy and schools subcommittees to eliminate coal-burning furnaces in 300 city schools, with the last one removed in March 2001, he said.

“They were not only inefficient, but they’re dangerous,” he said. “We became the monitors and watchdogs in the Assembly to get rid of the furnaces.”

Scarborough also helped secure $25 million to fund a summer jobs program for teenagers, establish a task force to study air pollution around Kennedy Airport, and create a dangerous dog registry for dogs who attack humans more than once, he said.

“I’m proud of a lot of the things I’ve been able to do for my district,” Scarborough said. “I’m working as hard as I can.”

Borriello, 45, may earn his living as a paralegal now, but with three generations of Republicans behind him, politics is the family business. Borriello has been a Republican state committeeman since 1995 and has worked on many party campaigns in the past, he said.

Borriello has been a Rosedale resident for 40 years and is running a grassroots campaign against Scarborough to give his neighbors a choice, he said.

“It’s an open seat and I just wanted to make a run to give the people an option,” Borriello said.

Borriello lists the environment, education and veterans’ services among his top issues, he said. Unlike Scarborough, Borriello agrees with the Legislature’s decision to give Mayor Michael Bloomberg control of the public schools.

“The mayor taking responsibility is better than all chiefs and no Indians,” he said “Everybody was running around. The school boards need to be corrected.”

He would also like to see more development in the district, especially in construction and manufacturing projects and jobs, he said.

“That sets off a lot of chains in the trickle-down theory,” Borriello said. “That one person working stimulates six other jobs.”

Despite facing an incumbent in a Democratic district, Borriello is optimistic about his chances, he said.

“Everybody plays to win,” he said. “A lot of people will walk up to me and say, ‘I’m voting for you.’”

But Scarborough is ready for the challenge, he said.

“I never take anything for granted. The election is a chance for my constituents to let me know how I’m doing,” Scarborough said.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 138.

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