For City Councilman Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) seat, the Democrats are involved in a fierce primary election to determine their candidate. This will be decided in the Sept. 15th primary election.
Within the Republican Party, the candidate is Dan Halloran, an attorney who has been chosen by the county organization. He will not be facing a primary as he gears up for the general November election against the winner of the Democratic primary.
Halloran has strong community roots. He proudly points to his grandfather having been an NYPD detective and his father having served as a city deputy commissioner. Halloran has also worked as an attorney clerk for State Supreme Court Judge Robert Hanophy. In addition, he has worked for the Bronx and Queens district attorneys’ offices.
Halloran is going into the fall election campaign with a strong ballot position, including endorsements from the Independence, Conservative and Libertarian parties. He is also being supported by state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose).
Pertaining to the issues, Halloran believes government has become too intrusive in our lives and is not responsive enough to the needs of the people. He believes there are too many professional politicians in government and indicated that as a member of the Council, he would favor government downsizing. He gives as an example three city agencies dealing with housing, including the Economic Development Corp. and Department of Housing, in addition to the Department of Buildings having some jurisdiction over housing. He would try to combine all housing matters within one agency.
Halloran also believes housing overdevelopment is a major problem in his district and the city in general. With constant building code violations occurring, he wants to see financial bonds being put up by developers before they begin building. If it is determined building codes have been violated by developers, they automatically forfeit the bond to the city. He opposed to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan for congestion pricing, which included tolls over the East River bridges.
Halloran has held several fund-raisers and intends to be receiving city matching funds for his campaign. He indicated he is waging an active campaign and will continue to do so regardless of who his opponent is.
He made the following statement regarding why he is running for the Council: “I am a lifelong member of my community, having been born and raised here. I understand the community with every fiber of my being.”
When we look at the top of the tickets of the two major parties, there seems to be a problem for both. In the petition drive, it has been reported in various areas of Queens and throughout the city that a significant number of registered Republicans are refusing to sign designating petitions for Bloomberg. In some areas, almost half the registered Republican voters are refusing to sign.
In the Democratic Party, however, members are not experiencing the same problem with mayoral candidate city Comptroller Bill Thompson. Up to this time, his candidacy does not seem to have generated enthusiastic support.
These things raise the question as to how much help will the mayoral candidates be in terms of increasing the vote totals of other candidates running on their ticket for local offices, especially for the Council. It seems in the fall election there will be little coattail effect. The local candidates themselves are going to have to bring in the votes. The question also arises as to how large the voter turnout will be this year. If there is a light turnout, how will that affect local Council racesi
In all, the election results this year are unpredictable.
©2009 Community News Group
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