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Political Action: Iannece, Vallone rack up endorsements in Council race

The fall primaries will soon be upon us. In the Queens Democratic Party, a lot of interest is being shown in the 19th City Council District primary, which will include six Democrats competing for their party nomination. In this northeast Queens area, the candidates are Jerry Iannece, Paul Vallone, Steven Behar, Tom Cooke, Debra Markell and Kevin Kim. The winner of this primary will face the designated Republican candidate, Dan Halloran, in the November general election.

If the race is looked at from the standpoint of endorsements, Iannece and Paul Vallone have compiled an extensive list of organizational endorsements. Among Iannece’s organizational endorsements are the United Federation of Teachers; Local 338 of the Retail Wholesale Store Employees; the CSEA Government Employees Civil Service Union; UAW Region 9; the District Council 37 municipal union; Local 731 Concrete Laborers; CWA 1182 Traffic Enforcement; DC 1707 Day Care Workers; CSA Principals Union; CWA 1180 Communication Workers; and the Central Labor Council, which represents 50 labor unions. The NYPD Columbia Association also endorsed him.

Iannece has also been endorsed by many civic and community leaders in northeast Queens, including past chairman of Community Board 11 Bernard Haber; President Frank Skala of the East Bayside Home Owners Association; and James Collasante, president of the Bayside Gables Civic Association.

Regarding issues, Iannece wants to stop overdevelopment and improve zoning procedures. He is also looking into the possibility of establishing another police precinct in the 19th District to improve response time.

Paul Vallone has received endorsements from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, city Detectives Endowment Association, Correction Officers Benevolent Association, International Union of Operating Engineers and Stonewall Democratic Club.

In addition, Paul Vallone has the endorsements of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor Edward Koch, former city Public Advocate Mark Green and Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills). Paul Vallone, whose father, Peter Vallone Sr., is a former council speaker and former gubernatorial candidate, is making his first bid in running for public office. He has political experience from working on his father’s campaigns and also his brother’s successful campaign for the Council seat in Astoria.

In terms of issues, Paul Vallone stresses maintaining our residential neighborhoods and stopping overdevelopment of the 19th District.

The firefighters unions have not yet endorsed any candidates in this race, but they are expected to endorse candidates soon.

In the recent Republican insurgent petition challenges against organization candidates Jay Golub in the 28th State Assembly District and Frank Messano in the 30th Assembly District for district leaders, the state Supreme Court decided in favor of Golub and Messano. Therefore, those two important Republican leadership primaries will continue with Golub running against Bart Haggerty and Messano running against Tony Nunziato.

In the Democratic primaries for borough president against incumbent Helen Marshall, insurgent candidate Marc Leavitt challenged the designating petitions of insurgent Robert Schwartz. Leavitt went directly into court without going through city Board of Elections hearings. Schwartz’s petitions were upheld by the court. There will now be a three-way primary for the Democratic nomination for borough president, with Marshall, Schwartz and Leavitt.

In the 38th Assembly District, Gov. David Paterson has issued another proclamation calling for a new special election for the Assembly. This new election will be held Sept. 15, along with the party primary elections.

The procedures of this new election are that each political party will choose a candidate for the Assembly. The candidates they choose will appear on the ballot as each party’s designee. Any candidate not chosen can still get on the ballot by going through the petition process. The newly elected member will take the place of former Assemblyman Tony Seminerio, who resigned several months ago. In all, Queens promises to produce interesting election results this year.

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