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Sikh community leader Swaranjit Singh is accusing Glen Oaks Village President Bob Friedrich, his opponent in the 2009 City Council Democratic primary, of mailing out fund-raising letters to Sikhs saying he has Singh’s endorsement for a possible run for the state Assembly.
“I want to make the record straight: I have not endorsed Bob Friedrich, I will never endorse Bob Friedrich,” Singh said Monday. “He sent all the Sikhs in the community letters that they should give him money. He put two pictures of me in the flier as if I’m the one endorsing him. I told [the Sikhs] don’t give him a penny. I don’t think he’s a trustworthy man. I can’t trust him.”
But Friedrich said Singh told him a month ago that he was supporting his candidacy.
“He did say it. We had a conversation,” Friedrich said. “I mailed that out based on a conversation I had with him. If he’s chosen not to [support me], he’s entitled to change his mind.”
“I have very wide support among the South Asian community, with [Singh’s] support or not,” Friedrich said.
Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck) won the Democratic primary against Singh and Friedrich and went on to capture his brother David Weprin’s seat on the Council.
Gov. David Paterson announced a special election date of Feb. 9 for the Assembly seat vacated by Mark Weprin.
David Weprin has said he would run for the Assembly seat, while Friedrich said he would make a decision either this week or next week whether to pursue the race against another member of the Weprin family.
Friedrich said there were no signs that Singh had reversed himself on supporting his former rival. He said Singh told him he would back him during a Queens Village Republican Club dinner last month.
“There was nothing to me that indicated a change of mind, unless the Weprins got to him, who knows?” the Glen Oaks Village president said.
After Mark Weprin won the Democratic primary between the three candidates, he defeated Friedrich, who ran in the general election as a Republican, again in November.
Singh, who endorsed Mark Weprin after the Sikh was defeated in the Democratic primary, said he does not plan to make an endorsement in the Assembly race.
“I don’t care who wins or whatever the circumstances are, I’m not going to endorse” Friedrich, Singh said. “What he’s doing is not right, it’s not ethical.”
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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