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Paterson endorses Addabbo for Senate

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City Councilman Joseph Addabbo (D−Howard Beach) received the highest profile endorsement of his campaign so far against state Sen. Serphin Maltese (R−Glendale) when he drew the backing of Gov. David Paterson last week.

“In these tough economic times, Joe Addabbo will fight to keep the cost of living low and protect the interests of working families by getting the cost of health care under control and making sure that all New York City schools get their fair share,” Paterson said in a statement.

Maltese’s seat, which covers Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Howard Beach and South Ozone Park, is one of the top targets for Democrats in their attempt to wrest control of the state Senate from Republicans, who hold a one−seat majority in the chamber.

The governor, who replaced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer in March after Spitzer became embroiled in a prostitution scandal, initially said he would not be aggressive in backing candidates as his predecessor. Spitzer campaigned for candidates when he was governor and even appeared in some of their ads breaking an unwritten rule in Albany that governors stay out of state races, but it is unclear whether Paterson will follow suit.

Addabbo is the second Democratic challenger for the state Senate in Queens to win an endorsement from the governor.

His colleague, City Councilman James Gennaro (D−Fresh Meadows), received Paterson’s backing late last month in his bid to unseat state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose).

In a statement, Addabbo said he was “honored to have the governor’s backing. In these tough economic times, we don’t have time for politics as usual. We need leaders who are ready to get serious and get down to work. Gov. Paterson has taken the bull by the horns, and I plan to work side by side to curtail spending and get New York back in fighting shape.”

A poll conducted by Siena College last month showed Addabbo and Maltese tied at 42 percent, with 16 percent of voters undecided.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.

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