Ackerman, Milano to face off in November

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U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) bested Democratic opponent Patricia Maher in Tuesday’s primary while James Milano defeated Elizabeth Berney for the Republican slot in the race, according to unofficial election results.

Ackerman, who was first elected to Congress in 1982, garnered 67 percent of the vote and Long Island’s Maher, the director of development for a nonprofit health care foundation, took 32 percent.

Milano, who is running on the Republican and Conservative lines, received 59 percent of the vote. Berney, a Great Neck, L.I., attorney who specializes in tax law and securities fraud, took 40 percent.

Ackerman, who could not be reached for comment, will now face Milano in the Nov. 2 general election.

Milano, a Roslyn, L.I., doctor, could not be reached for comment.

Poll workers in Bayside and Douglaston said voter turnout was higher than they had expected.

Bayside’s PS 41 on 35th Avenue had drawn 102 voters by 10:45 a.m., while 95 northeast Queens residents had voted at Douglaston’s PS 98 along 235th Avenue by 11:30 a.m.

Maryann Dolan of Bayside said she voted for Maher, but was not impressed by most of the candidates on this year’s ballot.

“I voted against Ackerman,” she said. “He hasn’t done too much lately.”

David Cooper of Bayside cast his ballot for Ackerman because the congressman had long maintained a presence in the community.

“I’ve known Ackerman for years,” he said.

In Douglaston, resident Florence Rose voted for Milano on the Republican line because of the candidate’s anti-abortion stance.

“That’s a major issue,” she said. “I’m a staunch Republican.”

Throughout the course of the campaign, candidates said that economic security, job creation, health care, education and the United States’ Middle East policies were the key issues.

Ackerman is chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.

The district covers Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Whitestone, Corona, Flushing and Jamaica Estates as well as sections of Long Island, such as Great Neck, Sands Point, Port Washington, Searingtown, Roslyn, Albertson and Manhasset.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 6:20 pm, October 10, 2011
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