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Andrews loses Democrats’ backing

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When Anthony Andrews received endorsements from a number of Queens elected officials going into the Democratic primary for Councilman Thomas White’s (D-Jamaica) seat last month, he never expected that support to be revoked.

After losing the Democratic primary Sept. 25 to Allan Jennings, Andrews remained on the ballot as a Liberal Party candidate. He then reprinted his campaign material from the primary — 70 percent of which he said was mailed to the wrong council district for some unknown reason.

He did not remove any of the elected officials’ names from his pamphlet, which lists: “Councilman Tom White, Congressman Greg Meeks, state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Assemblywoman Pauline Rhodd Cummings” in a column next to a box that reads: “We support Anthony D. Andrews Jr. for City Council. Please join us.”

Andrews said he was not aware that Meeks (D-St. Albans) and Smith (D-St. Albans) had already shifted their allegiance from Andrews to Jennings, the Democratic nominee.

“I have not gotten a phone call from Greg or Malcolm,” Andrews said. “If they have withdrawn their support for the general election, it is news to me.”

Meeks and Smith said they were disappointed their names were used in the recirculated material without their permission.

“Tony Andrews is a good friend and will be a good friend,” Meeks said. “However, he lost the Democratic primary and as a result of that loss, I am now supporting the Democratic nominee, Allan Jennings.”

Andrews said he had a conversation with Meeks after the primary and asked for his continued support. Andrews said Meeks never told him he was withdrawing his support, so Andrews assumed he still had the congressman’s backing.

Meeks said he wished Andrews had not sent out the mailing.

“He should have called and asked permission to do that,” Meeks said. “He did not, and so I spoke to Allan and to others to let them know that endorsement was for the primary, it was not for the general election.”

Similarly, Smith said he did not give Andrews permission to use his name in campaign literature. Smith is also supporting Jennings, not Andrews, in the general election.

“I’m disappointed. Tony is a friend, he knows this business, he knows better than to use someone’s name without calling,” Smith said.

Andrews said he tried to get in touch with the state senator after the primary, but Smith did not return his calls.

Andrews said the campaign literature he recirculated mainly contained biographical information and was meant to let voters know who he was as a candidate.

“My concern after the primary election is to make sure that everybody knows who I am and who supported me during the primary,” Andrews said, “and some of those people and organizations have continued to endorse me for the general election.”

White and City Councilwoman Pauline Rhodd Cummings (D-Far Rockaway) whose names also appeared on Andrews’s pamphlets, remain supportive of his campaign in the general election, according to each of the politicians’ chiefs of staff.

Jennings said White and City Councilwoman Juanita Watkins (D-Laurelton), who are also Democratic district leaders, continued to support him, so he assumed the other officials would too.

“Why wouldn’t I expect that other public officials would stay the course when two district leaders did?” Andrews said. “Is that too much to expect?”

-Reporter Dustin Brown contributed to this story.

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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