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Ciafone drops out, leaving Simotas unopposed in run

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State Assembly candidate Aravella Simotas will face no challengers in her bid for Assemblyman Michael Gianaris’s (D-Astoria) seat after John Ciafone dropped out of the race last week.

Ciafone, 40, an attorney based in Astoria, decided to halt his bid in mid-August, leaving Simotas, a Manhattan attorney who serves on Community Board 1, as the only candidate on the ballot. Simotas also has no Republican opponents.

The city Campaign Finance Board no longer lists the race on its Sept. 14 primary calendar.

Ciafone, who could not be reached for comment, had said he also planned to run on the Conservative and Independence party lines.

In a statement, Simotas spokesman Mike Murphy said the lone Democrat would continue campaigning despite having no challengers.

“As she has done throughout this campaign, Aravella will continue talking with her fellow Astorians about the need to create more jobs, improve our schools and reform state government,” the statement read.

Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, a civil and children’s rights attorney, dropped out of the Democratic primary earlier in the summer.

Gianaris’ seat is open this fall after the assemblyman decided to run to replace state Sen. George Onorato (D-Astoria), who will retire at the end of the year. He does not face any challengers.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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