Boro Votes Change

TimesLedger Newspapers
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The Bill de Blasio landslide effect rumbled across Queens as Democrats secured all but one of the seats up for grabs in the general election.

The Vallone dynasty extended its reach from Astoria into the northeastern portion of the borough Tuesday when Democrat Paul Vallone won the City Council seat being vacated by Republican Dan Halloran. He is the third Vallone in line to occupy a spot in the legislative branch in City Hall after his brother Peter Jr., who will be term-limited out of office Jan. 1, and father Peter Sr.

The 2013 general election also marked another victory for women, with Melinda Katz seizing the borough presidency by a stunning 80 percent of the vote to follow in the footsteps of fellow Democrats Helen Marshall and Claire Shulman, who have guided the county for 28 years since 1986.

Democrats also made a sweep of the five open Council races in the borough where incumbents were not running.

In addition to Flushing attorney Paul Vallone, rising Democratic star Costa Constantinides took the Vallone family seat in Astoria. Former state Assemblyman Rory Lancman will represent Fresh Meadows in the Council, transit union leader I. Daneek Miller will replace Leroy Comrie in southeast Queens and Antonio Reynoso will take over Diana Reyna’s Ridgewood seat after serving as her chief of staff.

Before the election, Queens had two Republicans in the Council and Eric Ulrich, the one left standing, had an unexpectedly strong challenge from Democratic district leader Lew Simon. After the polls closed, the returns for the first two hours or so showed Simon leading Ulrich, the minority whip in the Council, who has spearheaded the move to change the Queens Republican Party leadership.

But the candidates’ fortunes changed around midnight when Ulrich pulled ahead with about 53 percent to Simon’s 47 percent.

The contest to represent southern Queens and the hard-hit neighborhoods in the Rockaways was a rematch of the 2009 race, when Ulrich trounced Simon and two other candidates.

With de Blasio capturing about 65 percent of the mayoral vote in Queens, many residents were marking the Democratic column for a dramatic change in government values. As it turned out, there were no real cliffhangers or upsets Tuesday night in the borough contests, but the message to the newly elected from the voters was clear: We want a new direction for Queens as part of one city, not two.

Posted 12:00 am, November 9, 2013
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