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Beep votes show hopefuls’ strongholds

Former City Councilwoman Melinda Katz, seen here shaking hands with poll workers in her home turf of Forest Hills, lost in only two state Assembly districts in last month's Democratic primary for Queens borough president.
TimesLedger Newspapers
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Former City Councilwoman Melinda Katz beat her opponents in all but two areas of Queens during last month’s borough president Democratic primary, although even the longshot candidates narrowed the gap on their home turf.

The city Board of Elections recently released the results of the primary broken down by state Assembly district, which revealed where Katz, along with state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), businessman Everly Brown and Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) drew from their power bases.

Katz is now facing Republican Tony Arcabascio in the November general election.

She received 44.8 percent of the vote overall, but in the district of state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-forest Hills), she creamed the competition with 65.2 percent of the vote compared to Vallone, the next best finisher, who garnered 24.4 percent.

Katz served as the area’s assemblywoman the late 1990s and later was elected to the City Council there.

Vallone also trounced the field on his home turf, despite finishing with 33.7 percent overall.

In state Sen. Michael Gianaris’ (D-Astoria) district, which corresponds closely to the Council district Vallone has represented since 2001, the lawmaker got 60 percent of the vote, about double what Katz racked up.

Vallone also bested Katz by about 5 percent in the district represented by Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth), which is centered around the Maspeth and Middle Village areas, but also runs into portions of Astoria.

Other than the two districts won by Vallone, Katz beat all of her opponents in the remaining 16.

Avella picked up about 9.3 percent of the vote overall, according to figures from the board, even though he announced he would drop out of the race in August.

His announcement came too late to get his name off the ballot, and despite shutting down the campaign, the senator received 24.6 percent of the vote in Assemblyman Ed Braunstein’s (D-Bayside) district. The area overlaps with Avella’s Senate district and covers a handful of northeast Queens neighborhoods, where the lawmaker was nipping at the heels of Vallone, who received 32.2 percent, and creating the narrowest gap between him and Katz, who got 38.9 percent.

Everly Brown, a southeast Queens businessman relatively unknown in much of the district, received 12.2 percent of the vote overall, but nearly doubled his gains in three districts represented by Assembly members William Scarborough (D-Jamaica), Michelle Titus (D-Far Rockaway) and Vivian Cook (D-South Ozone Park), which collectively encompass much of the southeast portion of the borough.

But despite Brown’s coming in around 23 percent or 24 percent in each Assembly district, Katz was far ahead in each and polled in the 40 percent range.

Katz’s partner, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, got one write-in vote, while disgraced former Borough President Donald Manes, who committed suicide in 1986 after resigning amid a corruption scandal, received two.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 5:53 pm, July 9, 2018
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