Martha Flores-Vazquez, Democratic district leader for the 22nd state Assembly District in Flushing, kicked off her re-election campaign last Thursday with a barbecue fund-raiser featuring her friends and allies.
The party came in the midst of a number of issues that will make this year’s campaign one of her toughest yet.
She said her extensive experience, dedication to her community and history of public service make her the right person to hold the position and that the people of downtown Flushing deserve continuity in their elected officials, something which they are not getting elsewhere.
Flores-Vazquez, who has been a district leader for six of the eight years since she first won the seat in 2002, has earned a reputation for being a dedicated public servant through her work as executive director of the Community Prevention Alternatives for Families in Crisis Nature Counseling Center since its founding in 2006.
“My work qualifies me for the position,” she said. “It’s not about power, it’s about helping constituents. And the community needs stability. They need to know that there’s someone here who’s been through the transitions and changes in the community and who can remember the past and look to the future.”
But she admits the road to keeping her seat is fraught with challenges amid the fallout created by former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate’s expulsion from the Senate earlier this year after he was implicated in a domestic violence case. Flores-Vazquez is a longtime friend and supporter of the politician, who lost the support of many of his colleagues in the wake of the incident.
Flores-Vazquez said she is unsure whether she will be able to secure the Queens Democratic Party’s endorsement despite the fact that she is an incumbent. She is also worried about her ability to raise enough cash to run a successful campaign.
“That’s why I am doing this fund-raiser ... because I want to see how far I can go as far as getting on the ballot. I’m not sure I’m going to get the endorsement of the Democratic leadership because I was the only district leader that didn’t agree with their position on Hiram Monserrate,” she said. “And when you don’t fall in line, there’s retaliation.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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