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Carrozza kicks off campaign for Assembly

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It has been six years since state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) was first elected to represent northeast Queens, and the longtime Baysider said she still has work to do.

“With every year that you’re in the state Legislature your ability to draft legislation and pass legislation increases,” Carrozza said this week after kicking off her re-election campaign Saturday. “It’s a consequence of a certain amount of seasoning and time in office.”

A Democrat who burst onto the political scene by defeating longtime Republican Doug Prescott in 1996 for the state 26th Assembly District, Carrozza has worked on senior citizens’ issues and recently tackled the problem of the high costs of health care.

Carrozza’s district includes the communities of Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Auburndale, Bay Terrace, northern parts of Flushing, Beechhurst, Malba and Whitestone.

With Republican challenger and Douglaston resident John Ottulich mounting his own campaign for Carrozza’s post, the Bayside assemblywoman has a more lively race for re-election than in 2000, when she ran unopposed. Ottulich, who announced his candidacy this spring, has never run for office before.

Having an opponent usually draws more interest in a political contest, she said.

“It’s a great opportunity to get out and meet people who might not otherwise come out and get involved,” she said.

A graduate of Hofstra University School of Law on Long Island, where she served on the Law Review, Carrozza worked for an estate planning firm and served as legal counsel to a Queens Civil Court judge before getting elected.

Carrozza serves on the Assembly Standing Committees on Aging, Election Law, Governmental Employees, Insurance, and Veterans’ Affairs. She is also a member of the Assembly’s Legislative Women’s Caucus and chairs the committee on state-federal relations.

Carrozza launched her re-election bid Saturday by opening her campaign office on Bell Boulevard in Bayside.

“It was a wonderful event,” she said. “We had a lot of support from the community and constituents whom the office has helped over the years.”

With a bleak economic environment hanging over the city and state, Carrozza said her top priority in what could be her fourth term is “to be more creative with the resources available.”

Carrozza has tried to use existing resources to tackle high health-care costs with a bill which passed the Legislature and was signed by Gov. George Pataki in August.

The bill allows retired physicians to waive their $650 state registration fee before volunteering in medical clinics. Carrozza said eliminating the fee makes volunteering in clinics, where those without health insurance can get affordable health care, more attractive to available doctors.

When uninsured people go to emergency rooms for basic medical care, Carrozza said, “that in turn makes it more expensive for all of us.”

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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