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Mujib Rahman is a Democrat and he is quick to tell you that.
But the Jackson Heights resident is running for the City Council seat representing Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Corona and part of Rego Park on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines.
Rahman disagrees with the Democrats’ selection of Daniel Dromm to replace Councilwoman Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights). Dromm, an openly gay man who has supported gay marriage and teaching a gay-friendly agenda in city schools, does not represent the morals of many voters in the district, Rahman contended.
“I don’t think he will be the best candidate for our community, our society of faith-based persons,” he said. “Marriage means marriage.”
Al Blake agrees.
“I don’t agree with the agenda that I honestly believe Mr. Dromm will bring to the table and I will do everything I can to prevent that from happening,” Blake said.
Blake, a former chief of staff to state Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-Corona) and president of the Lefrak City Youth and Adult Activities Association, is acting as Rahman’s consultant and believes the path to victory is to mobilize the large blocs of voters in LeFrak City, the Sherwood Village co-ops and some of the residential towers in the sliver of Rego Park the 25th District encompasses.
Some 3,600 voters living in LeFrak City came out for the Sept. 29 run-off election, according to numbers provided by a poll watcher there. Blake said that during the 2008 presidential election, 3,100 registered voters in LeFrak City did not vote at all. With the relatively small voting numbers seen so far this year, Blake thinks it will be enough to turn the tide.
“We have the numbers right there, so it won’t even matter who votes in Jackson Heights,” he said.
Rahman, a Bangladeshi native who provided his age as “50-plus,” has interests in real estate and construction but came to the United States with a different career path in mind. He got his master’s degree in computer science from the City College of New York in 1984 and worked as a consultant for the school’s graduate studies center before raising enough money to start investing. He said he was inspired to run by his mother, who held public office in his native country.
“I waited so long to run myself,” he said. “This time around I thought, ‘This will be the opportunity for everybody.’”
He said he was disappointed when the Council voted with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to extend term limits, putting Sears back on the ballot.
Rahman said he favors changing the parking meters in Jackson Heights to run until 7 p.m. instead of 10 p.m., building public parking garages in the neighborhood and attracting more private schools to the district.
As of Oct. 2, Rahman had raised $8,920 and spent $5,445, according to the city Campaign Finance Board. He said he hoped to have established his eligibility for matching public funds by the end of the week.
Dromm had raised $252,665 in private and matching contributions by Oct. 2. He had spent $230,651, according to the CFB.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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