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Political Action: GOP gears up for comeback in 2010 elections in Queens

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During the recent City Council election in the 19th Council District in northeast Queens, the elected Republican candidate, Dan Halloran, stressed overdevelopment. He also strongly indicated that the city Department of Buildings is not accurately checking city Building Code violations, especially illegal conversions.

He recently held a press conference outside the DOB offices at Queensborough Hall, where he mentioned these points. On the other hand, he also implied that single-family homeowners in his district are being unfairly targeted for violations when other types of dwellings are not being looked into as thoroughly as they should be.

On Election Night, during his victory statement Halloran said, “Our neighborhood must be preserved.”

If his Dec. 9 press conference is any indication of his intention, the councilman-elect expects to make overdevelopment the central theme of his four-year term of office.

On another front, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) voted against the gay marriage bill. In a brief interview, he explained why he voted the way he did. Padavan said if he had voted in favor of the bill, it would have been against 5,000 years of Judeo-Christian heritage.

During the last few days, I have tried unsuccessfully to reach state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) about her vote on the gay marriage bill, since she voted in favor of it. Carrozza has a right — indeed, an obligation — to vote any way she wishes regarding key legislative matters.

She also, however, has an obligation to explain her vote to her constituents, just as Padavan has done. Hopefully, in the near future she will explain to voters the reasons for her vote. During the 2010 election process, this matter will be brought up as to how and why Carrozza voted the way she did.

In 2010, the Republicans intend to make an effort to recapture Carrozza’s seat. At present, the major Republican candidate who has emerged to challenge Carrozza is attorney Vincent Tabone, who serves on the Republican Queens County Executive Committee as executive vice chairman. He was active in helping to achieve the Halloran victory.

Padavan has indicated he is supporting Tabone, although he is expected to officially endorse him after the Queens Republican Executive Committee has designated Tabone as the organization candidate. There are some rumors of possible Democrat and Republican primaries for that seat, but nothing definite at this point.

The 26th Assembly District legislative office was formerly held by Republican Doug Prescott for 12 years until he lost to Carrozza in 1996. Prescott lost in an upset election. He himself had defeated Democratic incumbent Vincent Nicolosi in a 1980 upset.

In the forthcoming 5th Congressional District race in 2010, incumbent U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) expects a strong challenge. In past years, rarely has more than one Republican candidate come forth. In some years there were no candidates available to face Ackerman until the last minute.

Several candidates, however, have already come forth. They are being interviewed by the regular Republican Party. They are also being interviewed by groups affiliated with the tea party movement. These groups intend to play an important role in efforts to defeat Ackerman.

It is interesting to note that two of the three Council seats the Republicans won in Queens are in Ackerman’s district. It is believed the two Republicans elected in those Council districts, Halloran and Peter Koo, will be helping Ackerman’s Republican opponent.

Elizabeth Berney, the Republican candidate against Ackerman in 2008, is considering running for the state Senate against incumbent Craig Johnson in the Great Neck area of Nassau County.

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