Funds pile up for Council hopefuls

John Duane (clockwise from top l.), Paul Graziano, Dennis Saffran, Austin Shafran, Paul Vallone and Chrissy Voskerichian reveal funding numbers.
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The latest campaign funding for the crowded field running to replace City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) showed Bayside’s Austin Shafran, former government spokesman for the Empire State Development authority, in the lead with Whitestone attorney Paul Vallone not far behind.

City Campaign Finance Board records said Shafran’s campaign collected $87,217, while Vallone reported $73,470 in his coffers.

Earlier this month, Shafran’s campaign said city labor unions, including the Working Families Party, Central Labor Council and Hotel Trades Council, voted to endorse him. His campaign has also received widespread support from other labor unions in the city, such as Teamsters Joint Council 16 and 1199 SEIU.

Vallone also announced an endorsement this week from the Detective’s Endowment Association and the New York City Fire Marshals Benevolent Association. Records showed Vallone started raising money for the run back in October — second earliest only to former state Assemblyman John Duane, who started fund-raising in April 2012.

Duane had the third-most in campaign funds with $44,420 in contributions as of the latest filing.

The Douglaston attorney announced he would enter the race late last month, but has been raising money since March, records showed.

Flushing activist and urban planning consultant Paul Graziano raised $19,493 in his bid for the seat, records showed. Graziano, who started collecting funds for his run in March, has been an opponent of overdevelopment in Queens and received support from borough architects of the same mindset, such as Douglaston designer Kevin Wolfe.

Former Halloran Chief of Staff Chrissy Voskerichian raised $11,060 in about a month, campaign finance documents said. She abruptly left her position in Halloran’s office soon after the embattled incumbent was arrested on federal charges of bribery and corruption in early April.

Earlier this month, Halloran announced he would not seek re-election so he could instead devote time to clearing his controversial reputation. A federal grand jury indicted the Whitestone councilman on charges that he was helping funnel taxpayer money to GOP leaders in order to help state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) run in the upcoming mayoral race as a Republican.

But not all of Voskerichian’s campaign contributions were made public after her resignation from her boss’ office and later announcement to run.

Records showed Voskerichian collected one $100 donation from Flushing consultant Ignatius J. Evans, of the Southern Star Shipping Co. It was the only contribution her records showed came before her resignation from Halloran’s office.

Republican-backed Dennis Saffran was the only candidate of his party to file for the seat, records showed. The Queens GOP announced the party would back Saffran late last month after Halloran’s arrest, saying he was the best candidate they could field for the ticket.

Saffran’s campaign has yet to report any funding. Meanwhile, other rumored candidates Rudy S. Giuliani, chief of staff to Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and a cousin of the former mayor, and Kevin Kim, who Halloran had defeated back in 2009, did not file any campaign finance records.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 4:56 pm, May 17, 2013
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Reader feedback

Joe says:
Chrissy = Halloran/Franco/queens garden center

Paul v = Pali real estate and other developers salivating

Shafran = crooked democratic machine

Saffran = ? But he almost beet Avella once

Duane = crooked Democratic Party hacks

Paul G = sincere activist and tony Avella
May 30, 2013, 7:01 pm
Arthur from Whitestone says:
You just could not help yourself right Centola? Your such an useless ass!!
May 31, 2013, 12:12 pm
Carmine says:
Why do you love useing my name and continuously ASSume Alfredo is writing under different names. Your just a punk.
May 31, 2013, 4:27 pm
Arthur from Whitestone says:
I'm keeping track of all your anonymous crap postings Mr. C, wait till that sh-t hits the fan.
May 31, 2013, 5:40 pm
Joe says:
Whatever, punk.
June 1, 2013, 1:37 pm
The Real Carmine says:
Do you see Alfredo Centola's name on this thread? You call people names, you mention people by first and last name yet hide under the anonymity of just your first name. Why is that? A true coward always hides. I use my first and last name. Al has never hidden and always posted his name on everything. And Yes, I know for a fact he is not here!! Punk.
June 2, 2013, 3:13 pm
Guido Salvacci from Bayside says:
Merdre Cano Aveela and Merder Puppy Graziano no let stanieri construttore get any work! They just like Merdre Cano Padavani.
June 3, 2013, 10:05 am
Arthur from Whitestone says:
The Real Carmine? Need I say more?
June 6, 2013, 8:52 am
Frank Fried from Bay Terrace says:
Phat folks cast the peraltimate vogts
June 22, 2013, 11:06 am
Bill Rackser from Taormina says:
Both Republican factions are crypto-nazi mafia extollers.
Only Orenstein has earned the right to lead.
Aug. 27, 2013, 9:47 am

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