Candidates gear up for elections in city, state races

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The special election candidates are scrambling to do their various things in the hopes of being the candidate of choice in their respective districts.

From what I understand, they have all filed their petitions with the necessary amount of signatures and then some, but from what the pundits say, if anyone bothers to challenge the validity of their petitions, there just might be fewer candidates.

So, candidates for the City Council seats formerly held by Joseph Addabbo and Hiram Monserrate: Challenge away!

You might have less competition, but the rumor mills always run rampant. It is also a lot of work to challenge petitions — in fact, the really effective challengers are few and far between. You need patience and dedication to details to accomplish the job. In addition, there is a very small window of opportunity to file challenges and it may already be too late.

Does the Padavan−Gennaro race come to mind? That challenge has been going on for months and is still not resolved. What interesting times we live in.

A source of mine ran an interesting thought by me. He suggested that the real reason for the Padavan−Gennaro fiasco was that the Democrats really wanted to get control of the state Senate, but the numbers were too iffy that they were too close for comfort. If Hiram Monserrate did not make it, there was no wiggle room and who could say with certainty which way the three “renegades” would go? They played it safe by holding Frank Padavan’s confirmation in abeyance. Is that far−fetched? Perhaps, but it is probably as good an explanation as any.

Isn’t politics a fun game?

On Jan. 14, the Stevenson Democratic Club had its annual dinner−dance at the Temple Torah in Little Neck. What a lovely place to have an event. The food was great, too!

This year’s guests of honor were Carl Mattone, president of the Mattone Group, and Frank Magri, a journeyman for Local Union #3 I.B.E.W. and an ardent community activist.

The place was packed — a great turnout — but then everyone loves state Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn and will always support her and her club. The newly elected president, Stanley Weinblatt, was there. I think they said it was his 22nd consecutive year as Stevenson’s president, which seems to indicate that if you find a good thing, stick with it.

Sunday was a double−header. Padavan did the honors swearing in the new officers of the North East Queens Republican Club at the Reception House in Flushing. It appeared to be a re−election of the same slate. The club awarded Phil Plasencia with a certificate, acknowledging him as “Republican Man of the Year” from the club. Congratulations, Phil.

A new player in the Republican race for Tony Avella’s Council seat is Attorney Daniel Halloran, a lifelong resident of the Flushing­Whitestone area. He appears to be serious about running. Dan also told me that the law firm he works for, Palmieri & Castiglione, thought so highly of him that they made him a partner in the firm. Congratulations, Dan.

The second Sunday venue was Community Board 11’s annual holiday party at Bourbon Street in Bayside. Frank Skala was the unofficial­⁄official host. Present at the event were candidates for Avella’s seat — namely, Jerry Iannece, Debbie Markell and Halloran. There are so many good candidates in the 19th Council District that it is too bad we cannot elect them all.

As far Addabbo’s former Council seat is concerned, I have known and liked Mike Ricatto for years, but what are you thinking about, Mike? Or worse yet, who are you listening to?

Whoever it is, they are giving you bad advice. To suspend your campaign operations after your driver struck and killed 9−year−old Ibrihim Ahmed was the correct thing to do, but to resume campaign operations on the day of that child’s funeral was wrong. Perhaps you should consider sitting this one out and waiting for the next time. Whatever you decide, Mike, I wish you the best of luck.

That’s it for this week.

I always look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip.

I look forward to receiving your voice mails at 718−767−6484, faxes at 718−746−0066 and e−mails at

Don’t forget to check out the “Focus on Queens” page.

Till next week, Dee.

Updated 6:35 pm, October 10, 2011
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