Dishing with Dee: Candidates keep adding names to the race for Carrozza’s seat

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The list for the 26th state Assembly seat goes on and does not seem to have any end in sight. It seems to give credence to the opinion of the more jaded among us. That is that being elected to public office beats working for a living. You would think with all the candidates clamoring to get elected we would have a better assortment than the ones we do have or why would they be known as the most dysfunctional state Legislature in the United States?

Two more names for the race have been floated around. Joseph Bechtold and Kevin Kim, who says no! He’s not interested, but the folks he’s telling it to do not believe he’s saying it with any conviction. Both the above-mentioned are Democrats.

I don’t know if this last message received was serious or tongue-in-cheek, but Republican Mitch Schwadron believes that although there is no shortage of candidates running in this particular race, the more the merrier. He says after much thought and consideration he is launching an exploratory committee to look into the feasibility of his running for office again.

It has been 16 years since his last attempt and he believes many of the people who had not been his supporters then have since died. Mitch says that he’s looking for the Republican, Conservative, Independence, Libertarian, Green and any other party that might concede to give him their line.

The other Republican that we hear via the rumor mill who might be considering a run for the seat is Baysider Peter Boudouvas. I don’t know how serious either of the last two gentlemen are, but the thought does provoke a smile.

Believe it or not, another Democrat has joined the fray. This time it’s Elio Forcina, who announced two weeks ago his intentions of running, had his first fund-raiser this past Wednesday and has already raised more than $40,000. That sounds like a rather serious candidate to me. I attended his fund-raiser at Verdi’s in Whitestone. The place was packed and it certainly appears he has a tremendous amount of local support. In fact, he is one of the ones to watch in this race.

For a change of pace, we were invited by Moustafa Elshiek to a fund-raiser for him, as he is running for Assemblyman Michael Gianaris’ seat. As I’m sure you all know, Gianaris is running for state Sen. George Onorato’s seat.

It was a great fund-raiser in an interesting Egyptian restaurant on Broadway in Astoria. It was a Muslim restaurant, so no wine, beer or any alcoholic beverages were served. They served us non-stop with pots of the best mint tea I’ve ever had. In fact, it was so good you could easily become addicted to it. You didn’t miss the wine at all with your meal. It was a different kind of a fun evening. The food was interesting and some of the men seemed to be enjoying smoking their hookahs.

On Thursday night, the Queens Conservative Party held its annual Spring Gala at Roma View in Howard Beach. The keynote speaker was Rick Lazio, the Conservative Party’s choice for governor. Congratulations to Tom Long on such a great turnout. Apparently there is a lot of solid Conservative support for Lazio. In fact, so many more guests attended than expected that waiters had to provide additional tables and chairs.

On Sunday evening, the Saul Weprin Democratic Club held its 51st annual dinner honoring Alan Kaufman, Katy and James Pi and Carole and Bob Ross. The dinner was held at the Hollis Hills Jewish Center. It was a lovely affair and of course all the party faithful showed up to show their support, including two of my political favorites: U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman and Queens DA Dick Brown.

I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of my other favorites: Sol Zim, Assemblyman David and Councilman Mark Weprin, Councilman Danny Dromm, city Comptroller John Liu, Sen. Toby Stavisky, Tony Avella, Honey Miller, Councilman Leroy Comrie, Martha Taylor, Harbarchan Singh and Assemblyman Rory Lancman. Happy birthday, Silvia Weprin!

Thank you, Tony Ramos, for giving me the shirt of your back. Now that’s what I call a good friend. In case you’re wondering what kind of shirt it was, it was a black cotton one with the Canon logo embroidered in red. It was a promotional item and they didn’t have any more. Knowing all my photographic equipment was made by Canon, he gave me his. I owe you one.

I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.

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