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Political Action: Assembly election stands out as only non-primary race

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As the Democratic City Council primaries, Republican district leader primaries and state Assembly special election come to a climax Sept. 15, candidates are putting forth their maximum efforts in getting out the vote.

In the 19th Council District in northeast Queens, the long-awaited firefighters union endorsement has been made. The Uniformed Firefighters Association has endorsed attorney Jerry Iannece. Iannece also received an endorsement from Emergency Medical Services, the emergency service union. This kind of support is crucial in close elections.

In the races for Republican district leaders, the race between Jay Golub and Bart Haggerty in the 28th Assembly District is considered vitally important since Haggerty is one of the key leaders in the insurgency against the Republican county organization.

Golub is the organization candidate and running an active campaign and seems to be building support from Republicans who are active in the party. Bart Haggerty’s older brother, John Haggerty, went to court to try to get Golub’s designation petitions invalidated so his brother Bart could be elected district leader without having to face Golub in a primary. The effort failed. The court upheld Golub’s petitions.

The 28th District covers Forest Hills and parts of Middle Village, Glendale and Ridgewood.

Golub is strongly supported by former state Sen. Serf Maltese and Queens Republican County Chairman Phil Ragusa. He intends to work toward rebuilding the Queens Republican Party.

The 38th Assembly District special election to replace former Assemblyman Tony Seminerio has attracted a lot of interest in that it is the only Assembly special election in the city and is being held in conjunction with the Sept. 15 primary. The state Board of Elections commissioners have had a difficult time trying to figure out how to program the voting machines so the electorate can vote for both Assembly and Council candidates at the same time in the 38th District.

This western Queens district covers Woodhaven, Glendale, Ridgewood and parts of Ozone Park and Richmond Hill. There were no primary elections in this district prior to the forthcoming special election. Had there been a primary in the Democratic Party, at least four or five candidates would have entered the primary contest.

In the Republican Party the consensus of opinion for a candidate was unanimous in favor of Donna Marie Caltabiano, who has served for 14 years as executive director of the Forest Park Senior Citizens Center. She was elected to School Board 27 three times and has served on Community Board 9.

In a recent interview she spoke about some of the issues she intends to work on if elected. She would like to see greater use of school buses to help transport seniors around the city when these buses are not being used by schoolchildren. She wants to expand the EPIC prescription drug program for seniors and has also called for a $1,000 prescription drug tax credit for senior citizens. Caltabiano also wants the city Department of Buildings to put more resources into checking on illegal occupancy. She is calling for a cap on property tax increases.

Regarding the Democratic candidate who was chosen by the Democratic county organization, CB 5 member Michael Miller, efforts have been made to contact him several times to inquire about his background and views on the issues. Up to this time, Miller has been unavailable for comment.

Presently there are 18 Assembly districts in Queens. The Democrats hold 17 of them. At this time the race between Caltabiano and Miller is the only Assembly race in competition. Caltabiano is waging a hard-fought campaign.

The Sept. 15 elections and voter trends will have an impact on the November races and next year’s campaigns.

Posted 6:29 pm, October 10, 2011
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