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Fox kicks off campaign in Forest Hills

Forest Hills resident Joe Fox kicked off his campaign for state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi’s (D-Forest Hills) seat this week, telling a crowd of about 70 people at his newly opened headquarters that he will focus on ethics, balancing the budget and education during his bid for office.

“This last year has been especially hard for the constituents of New York,” said Fox, a Democrat. “There has been utter chaos and ineptitude taking place in Albany. Our legislators have forgotten who they are working for.”

An attorney from Forest Hills and a Community Board 6 member, Fox is Hevesi’s sole opponent in the primary for the seat representing the 28th Assembly District, which covers Forest Hills, Rego Park, Middle Village and Glendale. Lilianna Zulunova, a Democrat, dropped out of the race a little more than a week ago.

A resident of Forest Hills for more than 30 years, Fox was cheered on by supporters at his campaign office on the second floor of 88-03 69th Ave. Sunday afternoon.

“I’ve known Joe for many years in the community and I think he brings experience, ethics and leadership to the job,” Rego Park resident Arthur Miller said.

Miller, also an attorney, said while he had “no problem” with Hevesi, he wanted to see change in Albany.

“He seems to be a nice guy,” Miller said of Hevesi. “I just think it’s time for change, both on the local level and across the board. There’s so much that needs to be done that we need an active, strong and experienced presence.”

Hevesi has said he has worked hard for his constituents and has recently pushed a number of environmental bills, including legislation that recently passed the Assembly which aims to create a more comprehensive alternative energy policy for the state.

The assemblyman said in a previous statement that he looks “forward to running on my record of results for the neighborhood I represent and laws I’ve written that have positively impacted people throughout New York state.”

Fox said a key component of his campaign platform is government spending.

“There has to be oversight and transparency into how money is spent in government,” Fox said in an earlier interview. “For things like discretionary funds, there has to be oversight.”

Additionally, Fox said he would focus on the state’s financial situation — currently New York faces an approximate $9 billion deficit — and said he would fight for funding for programs for district residents, especially more vulnerable populations, such as students and seniors.

Fox is an attorney who has been practicing law for more than 20 years in midtown Manhattan. His practice focuses on corporate litigation, real estate, trusts and estates, bankruptcy and debtor and creditor rights.

Prior to that, he worked in Albany and then in former Mayor Ed Koch’s administration as a legislative attorney for the city Office for Economic Development, during which time he drafted legislation that enabled city businesses to get a break on their gas and electric bills if they created jobs.

He also served as director of real estate at the city Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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