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Vallone Jr. handily beats competitors in council race

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Peter Vallone Jr. declared victory at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday in the race to fill his father’s seat on the City Council, pulling over half the vote in a field of five candidates, according to early election results.

“I look forward to working as hard as I can to continue the good work that’s been done in this community,” Vallone said after celebrating with supporters at the Taminent Regular Democratic Club in Astoria Tuesday night.

Vallone Jr. won with 53 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results published in the New York Post with 74 percent of precincts reporting.

Republican candidate Sandra Vassos came away with 34 percent of the vote, while John Ciafone garnered 9 percent on the Liberal Party line. The Green Party’s Jerry Kann won 3 percent, and the Independence Party’s Michael Mascitti had the fewest votes with 1 percent.

The 22nd Council District covers Astoria and parts of Long Island City and Jackson Heights.

City Council Speaker Peter Vallone (D-Astoria), the longtime incumbent who has held the seat since 1974, was barred by term limits from running for re-election. A former candidate for mayor, he fell out of the race after failing to earn enough votes in the September Democratic primary to move into a run-off election, in which Public Advocate Mark Green won a slim victory over Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer.

Vallone Jr. based his candidacy on the idea of continuing and building upon the legacy left by his father.

“It’s not possible to fill his shoes, so what I’ll try to do is use what he has taught me to walk in his very large footsteps,” Vallone Jr. said.

An attorney in private practice with his family firm who has served as pro bono counsel for numerous local organizations, he said his 20 years of community service gave him experience that would render him immediately effective in the Council.

A former prosecutor with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Vallone Jr. asserted his crime-fighting background would give him a critical edge in dealing with security concerns that have arisen since Sept. 11. His other priorities include improving education and curbing the influx of power plants into the neighborhood.

After winning the Democratic primary against Ciafone and Zapiti with a comfortable 56 percent of the vote, Vallone Jr. faced an expanded pool of four opponents in Tuesday’s general election.

atures on her petitions forced her removal from the Democratic primary ballot. Despite the Republican support, she continued to campaign as a Democrat, which is her registered party affiliation.

Ciafone, a longtime member of School Board 30, remained in the general election as the Liberal Party candidate after picking up 34 percent of the vote in his primary race against Vallone.

Green Party candidate Kann ran an aggressive campaign with limited funds, offering ideas for reform that would put government in the hands of the people.

The Independence Party’s Mascitti, a nearly invisible candidate, said he ran to offer more choice in a neighborhood where the elder Vallone has traditionally run unopposed.

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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