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Crowley unseats Como in second Council bid

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After a race that saw both candidates take a grassroots approach to attracting voters, Democratic challenger Elizabeth Crowley handily defeated Councilman Anthony Como (R−Middle Village) to claim the District 30 City Council seat.

Crowley won 56 percent of the total with 18,592 votes, while Como took 44 percent with 14,603 votes.

Crowley, who did not return phone calls by press time, had eschewed the help of the Parkside Group, a political consulting firm she used in her unsuccessful bid for the seat in June’s special election, in favor of more door−to−door campaigning.

Como conceded that the massive outpouring of support for Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama brought Democrats out in scores — helping his opponent.

“We knew going into this that the presidential election was going to be an important part of this race,” Como said. “It pretty much proved us correct. ... it was just not a good day to be a Republican.”

Como said he will finish out the year in the Council and then spend some time with his family.

“I’ve been married a year and a half,” he said. “And my whole family, my wife, my friends, all we’ve been doing is running for election.”

He called Crowley a “good person” and said he would help her transition into the office. But he also offered a piece of advice.

“A lot of people say they’re going to do things and help her in many ways, but politics is a very tricky business,” he cautioned.

Fund−raising for the election was fairly close.

Records on the city Campaign Finance Board’s Web site show that as of Oct. 24, Como had raised $155,458, while Crowley raised $147,174. But Como had outspent Crowley by more than 2−1 by the same date. Crowley’s camp said much of Como’s spending was on pricey fund−raising dinners at area restaurants. But Como said his campaign focused on making its mark earlier in the race.

Como was previously an aide to state Sen. Serphin Maltese (R−Glendale), who lost his seat Tuesday, and served as a prosecutor under Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Como and Crowley faced off in a June special election for the District 30 Council seat. Como won that race by a scant 38 votes. He touted his record as councilman over the last several months.

Crowley has a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Pratt Institute’s Graduate School of Architecture where she studied architecture, historic preservation, environmental and city planning. She is a member of the American Planning Association and New York’s local chapter.

She worked helping to restore old buildings before taking a job at the Consortium for Worker Education, a Manhattan−based nonprofit dedicated to job training and other labor issues. Both of her parents served on the New York City Council and her cousin is U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D−Jackson Heights), chairman of the Queens Democratic Party.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 6:38 pm, October 10, 2011
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