Today’s news:

Douglaston man sets sights again on Ackerman’s seat

Douglaston Manor resident Jun Policarpio is expected to officially launch his second bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) Thursday in Flushing.

A Filipino-native, Policarpio is holding a "kick-off party" at Dae Dong Manor on Northern Boulevard, where Queens County Conservative Party Chairman Thomas Long is slated to endorse him and encourage the Queens and Nassau County Republican delegations to do the same.

Policarpio, who unsuccessfully ran on the independent ticket "For All Americans" in 2004 after losing the Republican nomination to Stephen Graves, said he hopes to muster similar momentum to that of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

"If Barack Obama, a black man whose father is from Kenya, was able to annihilate the powerful Clinton political machine at the conclusion of the Democratic presidential primary election," Policarpio wrote on his campaign blog "From the Barrel of my Pen" Friday, "Jun Policarpio who is originally from the Philippines, a former U.S. territory, and son of a former anti-Japanese guerrilla fighter allied with the Americans during the Second World War, can do better to win the November election against the incumbent anti-Christian liberal democrat, Gary Ackerman."

Policarpio has been openly critical of Ackerman over the last several years, most recently railing against the longtime congressman for being one of just nine house members to vote against a non-binding resolution recognizing the importance of Christmas and Christianity in America.

"Christianity is indeed one of the great religions, and there's nothing in the resolution that isn't necessarily true," Ackerman, who is Jewish, said in January. "I'm not against Christmas at all."

He said he opposed the measure because he strongly believes in the separation of church and state and wanted Congress to focus on key issues, such as health care and the subprime mortgage crisis.

Ackerman has held his seat in the district, which covers most of northern Queens and parts of Nassau County, for the last 26 years.

For more information on Jun Policarpio's campaign, visit his Web site at www.junpolicarpio.com.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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