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Boudouvas challenges Avella in Council race

Peter Boudouvas, a Republican electrical engineer from Bayside and one-time contender for the state Assembly, formally announced his candidacy for the District 19 seat last week during a meeting of the Northeast Queens Republican Club at the Reception House restaurant in Auburndale. Boudouvas, a fiscal and social conservative, is running against first-term City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside)."We're still in the early stages of putting together our campaign," Boudouvas said. He said he did not know if there would be any other Republican candidates to force a party primary before the general election in November.The Dist. 19 Council seat covers most of northeast Queens, including Bayside, Whitestone, College Point, Bay Terrace, and Douglas Manor as well as parts of Douglaston, Little Neck, and Auburndale."My only comment is that I anticipated the Republicans would find a candidate, and I will still run the same type of campaign as in the past," Avella said. He said his re-election campaign would focus on his record and future projects. "The way I run my campaign has nothing to do with whomever runs against me, it has to do with what I'm doing for the community," he said. "I never take any campaign for granted."Avella ran for the Council seat twice before winning in 2001 against Republican Dennis Saffran.Boudouvas, who has never held elective office, grew up in Astoria, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and founded his own engineering firm. He has served as a community representative for state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) for four years. Despite a loss last year against Democrat and eight-year incumbent Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) for the District 26 Assembly seat, Boudouvas is more than ready to try his hand at municipal politics. His campaign will hinge on three central issues, he said, most crucially tackling Avella's signature issue of zoning. Avella has spent the past few months championing a controversial city plan to rezone more than 300 blocks in Bayside, holding residential builders to the tightest restrictions in the city.Boudouvas expressed his doubts over the rezoning plan, saying his staff was doing their own "investigation" into the merits of the proposal."I don't think the proposed rezoning will cure overdevelopment," he said. "What we need is better enforcement of the building code and elimination of loopholes."Boudouvas also supported a movement by some local parents urging the return of PS 130, a local school in Auburndale that once served District 26 children but after a dip in enrollment was taken over by District 25."I support the concept of neighborhood schools for neighborhood children," he said. "Children should be walking to school, not being bused. The money we spend on busing could be better spent in education."The third issue he would campaign on, he said, was taxation. Though he did not outline a particular strategy, Boudouvas said he favors limits on taxes in general."We need to have a policy of fiscal discipline," he said. "We can't afford to pay more taxes."Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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