With less than a month to go until the Sept. 13 primary, two Democratic candidates vying for a chance at the state Assembly seat in northeast Queens upped their efforts by taking to the streets in full force.
Jerry Iannece and Nily Rozic both said they were spending the weeks leading up to the primary knocking on doors and making sure voters knew of the unconventional voting day, which was moved to Thursday because Sept. 11 falls on Tuesday.
Iannece, who serves as chairman of CB 11, said he emphasized his record when he met with district voters and encouraged them to look him up if they were unaware of his service.
“I come to the table equipped and ready to handle the position. I can point to several things I have done,” Iannece said. “If elected, I am going to hit the ground running. I’ve got some meat on the bone because I have already addressed so many of the issues that people care about.”
His greatest concerns on a state level, Iannece said, revolved around passing the state DREAM Act, increasing the minimum wage and promoting campaign finance reform — an issue Rozic said she planned on addressing her first day if elected.
Iannece has received endorsements from elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria), congressional candidate and Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and organizations including the Uniformed Fire Officers Association and the United Federation of Teachers.
“I have many local elected officials behind me. I am not taking this lightly,” Iannece said. “I have been working my tail off. If you want to compare, then let’s compare.”
As for the local issues, Iannece said he had a proven record. Through 10 years as chairman of Community Board 11, Iannece said he has already dealt with the bread-and-butter issues, including flooding in Bayside Hills, helping to save the Bayside Beacon program from the city chopping block, and fighting to restore bus service across different routes in northeast Queens.
Meeting constituents face-to-face, Rozic said, was one of her favorite parts of campaigning.
“My best interactions come from meeting the voters,” Rozic said. “The response has been incredible and I think people have been receptive to my story.”
Rozic, a first-generation immigrant and Community Board 8 member, formerly served as chief of staff for Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan) and propelled herself into the Queens political sphere for the first time with hopes of changing the scenery in Albany. The Fresh Meadows resident said what made her different from her opponent was her fresh perspective on the issues that affect the 25th Assembly District, which runs from Flushing to Douglaston and also includes most of Bayside Hills.
“I don’t wait in line,” Rozic said, referring to Iannece’s former runs for public office, including a failed bid for the City Council in 2009.
The alumna of Townsend Harris High School in Flushing said focusing on education throughout her campaign has been the bottom line to combat the borough’s growing classroom sizes.
Of her key issues, Rozic said she was campaigning on job creation, affordable health care and accessible women’s and immigrant services.
“We need more women in government to advocate for these kinds of things,” Rozic said.
Rozic’s campaign reported several endorsements from groups including Council hopeful Kevin Kim, the Working Families Party, EMILY’s List and the New York League of Conservation Voters.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2012 Community News Group
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