Friedrich will challenge Weprin for Assembly seat

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After losing his bid for the City Council to Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Hollis) in the fall, Bob Friedrich announced last week he would run again for office against another member of the Weprin family.

Friedrich, a Democrat, officially kicked off his candidacy Saturday to represent the 24th State Assembly District, pitting himself against former Councilman David Weprin in the Feb. 9 special election for which Gov. David Paterson called last week.

David Weprin held the Council seat his brother Mark Weprin won in the Democratic primary and the general election in November.

Friedrich, who lost the Democratic primary for the Council to Mark Weprin, then ran on the Republican ticket in November.

“This is a campaign that is about community activism,” Friedrich said at a Saturday news event held outside Glen Oaks Village, of which he is president. “This is a campaign that is about being accountable to residents of the community.”

Though Friedrich is a registered Democrat, he will run on the Republican line in the special election. He may also run on the Conservative and Independent tickets, according to his spokesman James McClelland. Friedrich was joined by a bevy of Republicans Saturday, including state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa.

“I lived in Glen Oaks when I first got married, and I can tell you there have been dramatic changes in the decades since because of Bob,” Padavan said.

Friedrich has been the president and a board member of Glen Oaks Village, a cooperative community of more than 10,000 residents, for more than 15 years.

“He looks like Mr. Clean, and that’s exactly the kind of guy we need in Albany,” Padavan continued.

Padavan and Ragusa said while there is little time to mobilize a campaign, they believe Friedrich will be successful.

“It’s a cold day, but it’ll be a very hot campaign,” Ragusa said Saturday, when the temperature lingered below freezing for most of the day. “He can go up to Albany to become a partner with Frank Padavan.”

David Weprin’s campaign issued a statement immediately following Friedrich’s announcement.

“Less than two months ago, the people of eastern Queens rejected Republican Robert Friedrich’s extremism because we expect our leaders to fight for working families and seniors, not for a radical, right-wing agenda,” said Corey Bearak, a spokesman for David Weprin. “Less than a month from now, the people of our community will once again reject Republican Robert Friedrich.”

The Queens County Democratic Party uanimously nominated David Weprin to be the Democratic candidate for the Assembly race.

“With encouragemenet from some of the foremost civic and community activists, I accept the challenge to keep our community strong and moving in the right direction,” David Weprin said. “%u2026 Albany can certainly use my knowledge of budget and finance in these tough fiscal times. In Albany, I will use my experience as city Council finance chair, and my experience in the private sector, to tackle city concerns that require state solutions.”

The 24th Assembly District covers Alley Pond, Bellerose, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis Court, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Little Neck, Meadowlark Gardens, Oakland Gardens, Queens Village and Windsor Park.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.

Updated 5:42 pm, October 10, 2011
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