Michael Miller scores big win in primary against Comaianni

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State Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven) cruised to victory over his Democratic primary opponent, Community Education Council 24 President Nick Comaianni, 77 percent to 23 percent with 87 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday night, according to unofficial results, clearing the largest hurdle in his re-election battle.

“It’s a phenomenal victory,” Miller said in a phone interview. “I’m happy the people of my district responded the way they did. They appreciated the fact I’m their full-time assemblyman.”

Miller also handily defeated Forest Park Senior Center Executive Director Donna Marie Caltabiano in a primary on the Conservative line.

He won the seat in a special election last year to replace disgraced former Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges.

Miller ran on his record in office over the past year, including legislation to make Woodhaven Boulevard easier to walk across and making the neighborhood safer from sexual predators.

The assemblyman also pointed to his ability to get an assurance out of Genting NY, the winner of the Aqueduct video lottery terminal contract, to hire local people for jobs at the track. The district covers Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Ridgewood and Glendale.

Comaianni, the president of CEC 24 and chairman of the Youth and Education Committee of Community Board 9, ran on a platform of improving education and helping small businesses.

Comaianni and Miller were on course to run against each other in last year’s special election, but Comaianni chose not to file petitions to get on the ballot.

In Ridgewood and Glendale, the northern part of the 28th Assembly District, turnout appeared to be light.

Out of roughly 2,500 people registered to vote, only about 150 did so as of 2 p.m. Tuesday at PS 91 in Glendale, according to Joanna Chiaramonte, poll coordinator at the school.

“Primaries don’t draw a lot of people,” said the other coordinator at PS 91, Sig Laemmel.

At PS 88 in Ridgewood, only about 60 people cast ballots as of 2 p.m., according to PS 88 poll coordinator Joseph Mammarino.

An election volunteer said the turnout was discouraging.

“I’m disheartened when I hear people complain about politics” and then not vote, she said.

Glendale resident Virginia Appel said she voted for Miller because her husband is a Kiwanis Club member who knows the assemblyman.

“I’ll vote for anyone who Kiwanis stands behind,” she said.

Miller has no Republican opponent.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 6:20 pm, October 10, 2011
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