Como concedes state Senate race to Addabbo

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Anthony Como, a former city councilman and Republican candidate for the seat held by state Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), conceded Monday afternoon after initially calling for the voting machines in the district to be impounded.

Como, who netted 42 percent of the vote compared to Addabbo’s 57 percent, did not concede Nov. 2 due to reports from his supporters of problems with the voting machines.

“It was important to me that every vote be properly counted and, although there are remaining discrepancies with some of the machines, it is in the best interest of the community that we move forward and put politics aside,” Como said in a statement.

Addabbo said he had already returned to work, and was glad to focus on serving constituents.

“I do appreciate the call and think it’s the professional thing to do,” Addabbo said.

The 15th Senate District encompasses Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth as well as sections of Ridgewood, Rego Park, South Ozone Park and Sunnyside.

State Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven) said he was not surprised by the results of the race.

“I feel that the people of the district recognize the hard work and dedication Addabbo has shown the past two years in this term,” he said.

Como’s decision not to concede had been supported by the Queens Republican Party. Robert Hornak, spokesman for the Queens GOP, said last week that there were many irregularities with the voting machines.

“It’s not as easy as it used to be, it’s a very complex system,” Hornak said.

Frank Galluscio, a Democratic district leader, called Como’s decision “silly.” He said that while he had heard of some glitches, there was nothing that would cause the city Board of Elections to impound the machines.

“I don’t know why he would do that,” Galluscio said.

In his race against Addabbo, Como raised almost $332,000, more than three times as much as Addabbo’s total of about $97,000. But Michael Krasner, a political science professor at Queens College who once had Como as a student, said the large amount of funds raised may not have helped.

“Money counts less in that kind of a race,” Krasner said.

He said that while raising money can buy television ads, television ads cannot be targeted at a district. He said to win state Senate races, a candidate needs union endorsements and manpower.

“The people who can go door-to-door, the people who can phone bank,” Krasner said.

Galluscio said he also believed Como’s negative attacks on Addabbo — Como had requested Addabbo’s role in the choosing of AEG to run the racinos at Aqueduct Race Track be investigated — hurt Como.

“It’s sad that politics has come down to that, but hopefully that’ll change with the future,” Galluscio said. “Everything is cyclical.”

Como was an intern with Maltese, whom Addabbo beat in 2008, and was considered as a potential executive director of the Board of Elections before running in this race. Como said he was proud of the race run and is looking forward to spending time with his family.

“I’ve missed so much in the past couple of months,” he said.

Krasner said Como was a “capable guy” and that while he did not know what the next logical step for him would be, he did not expect Como to completely go away.

“I’d be surprised if we didn’t hear from him again in some setting,” Krasner said.

As for Addabbo’s win, Krasner said incumbents are made vulnerable by complacency. They need to maintain an active staff, keep close ties to the community and keep in contact with constituents, which Addabbo has done.

“That was an uphill fight, it’s always hard to beat an incumbent,” Krasner said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 6:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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