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Political Action: Tabone has chance to succeed Carrozza in state Assembly

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There is much interest in the forthcoming state Assembly race in the 26th Assembly District in northeast Queens, which includes most of Bayside, Whitestone, eastern Flushing, Douglaston and Little Neck. It is interesting to note that the four Democrats running in the Democratic primary in this district are all attorneys, as is the lead Republican candidate, Vincent Tabone, who has obtained about five times the number of signatures needed for a ballot position.

In terms of money raised for the campaign, Democrat Edward Braunstein and Tabone, both of whom have been endorsed by their respective county party organizations, have raised the most money to date, but Tabone has the most cash on hand.

Tabone in the past has worked for both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations in the city Economic Development Corp., where he initiated economic projects. He has also worked for the city Department of Housing. At the local level, Tabone is a board member of the Bayside Historical Society in addition to serving on the 111th Precinct Community Council.

Tabone believes the three main issues in his campaign are providing jobs and economic opportunity for citizens, along with working for tax relief; maintaining the character and environment of the community; and giving high priority to getting a fair share of funding for community education needs. He believes his many years of community involvement and public service give him the experience needed to effectively represent the 26th Assembly District.

He said in a statement about his candidacy, “I am humbled by the outpouring of support from friends and neighbors, including Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives and independents, who have been supportive of my campaign to restore physical stability and common sense to Albany.”

Of the present 18 Assembly districts in Queens, all have Democrats representing them. The 26th Assembly District had the last Republican representative, Doug Prescott, in 1996. If the present voting trends hold, the Republicans have a good chance of recapturing that seat.

What happens at the state level will affect local races in Queens, and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino is coming on strong with his efforts to defeat Rick Lazio in the Sept. 14 Republican primary and become the Republican nominee for governor.

Even though he has been campaigning for close to a year, Lazio has been unable to raise the funds necessary to wage a credible race. Presently, Lazio has less than a million dollars in cash on hand with Paladino indicating he will spend between $8 million and $10 million of his own money on the race — not to mention that Democratic state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has raised over $23 million for the fall campaign and does not have to worry about a primary. Lazio has not raised enough money for the primary much less the general election.

Lazio has the Conservative Party endorsement, but if he loses the Republican primary, it could sharply diminish the number of votes he will get. The Conservative Party must get at least 50,000 votes for governor if it is to remain on the ballot for the next four years. If the Conservative Party fails to obtain 50,000 votes in the fall election, its fate, for the time being at least, will be the same as the state Liberal and Right to Life parties.

Both these parties in previous elections failed to achieve 50,000 votes for governor and were removed from the ballot, according to state election law. There will be a lot at stake in this coming fall election.

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