Dems retain all judgeships in Queens after election

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown casts his vote at the Grand Central Parkway School in Forest Hills Tuesday. Brown ran unopposed for a sixth term as the borough’s district attorney. Photo by Ellis Kaplan
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Democrats retained their stronghold on Queens Supreme Court Tuesday, when the borough elected six judges from the party, along with re-electing District Attorney Richard Brown and a southeast Queens councilman who ran unopposed.

The votes were largely split along party lines, with every Democrat receiving about the same number of votes as was the case on the Republican line, according to unofficial results from the city Board of Elections.

The six Democrats all got between roughly 21,000 and 23,600 votes, while the six Republicans drew between 13,000 and 16,000 votes. The total vote cast for the judgeships was 213,346. Supreme Court terms last 14 years.

Janice Taylor, who was re-elected, received the most votes with 23,591. Her victorious Democratic colleagues — Allan Weiss, Rudolph Greco, Timothy Dufficy, Pam Jackman-Brown and Ira Margulis — attracted fewer votes, but at least 4,000 more than the nearst Republican.

GOP members in the borough could not remember the last time a Republican judge was elected, unless that candidate ran on both Republican and Democratic tickets.

The Democrats barely did any fund-raising for campaigns, which cannot be based on political platforms since a judge is supposed to objectively adjudicate the law. But some Republican candidates spent tens of thousands of dollars, and there seemed to be a correlation between the amount of money raised and the number of votes they received.

Kate Christoforatos, an Astoria-based lawyer, came closest to the Democratic fray with 15,946 votes – the best performance by a Republican judicial candidate in the last 15 years, according to Queens GOP Law Chairman Vince Tabone.

She received the seventh-most votes despite raising a vast campaign fund compared with the other candidates.

Christoforatos raised $31,530 in just 18 days, according to the state Board of Elections database, almost double her fellow Republican Gabriel Tapalaga, who raised $17,325 and received the ninth most votes.

The GOP’s Robert Beltrani, who ended the day between Christoforatos and Tapalaga with 13,776 votes, had help from a Flushing lawmaker.

City Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing) made robo calls in Mandarin urging constituents to vote for Beltrani.

Those three candidates topped out the GOP roster.

Despite the fact that no Republicans were elected, Queens GOP Party Chairman Phil Ragusa said the numbers were up from past years and indicated a sea change in the borough.

“Hopefully, this trend will continue,” he said, referring to the election of three Republican Queens councilmen and the recent election of U.S. Rep. Bob Turner (R-Kew Gardens).

Tabone said all of the Republican judicial candidates “would make a great judge or public servant. Their character and intellect have served their clients well and I know they have a bright future. They gave Queens voters a choice at the ballot box and that is what democracy is all about.”

District Attorney Richard Brown ran unopposed as did City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica). Brown captured all of the 36,467 votes cast, according to unofficial results from the city Board of Elections. Wills got 100 percent of the 2,396 votes in his race.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 4:46 pm, November 10, 2011
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Reader feedback

NYCpadre from Ozone park says:
Even worse - they are seated on the bench for 14 years... (God willing).
Nov. 10, 2011, 3:59 pm
Adolph from Rego Park says:
That is actually a pretty suprising result since Queens Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1 at least. Looks like several of the Republicans got over 40% which is more than would be expected. I doubt a Rep could get 15% in Manhattan or Brooklyn if someone ran.

As a closet Republican, I am glad to see that at least there is a race in Queens for judgeships (some of the most important positions, IMO in government). I didn't see any other races going on in the other buroughs so good for Queens Republicans at least giving us a choice!

Nov. 13, 2011, 9:53 pm

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