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Fox, Hevesi hit streets for votes

As the campaign to win the 28th Assembly District intensifies, candidate Joe Fox touted recent praise for him from former Mayor Ed Koch and state Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) promoted his environmental legislation he said would help to grow green jobs in the state.

The 28th Assembly District covers Forest Hills, Rego Park, Middle Village, and Glendale. Republican Alex Powietrzynski is planning to run in the general election in November.

Fox, an attorney from Forest Hills who is running against Hevesi, last week signed a pledge to support good governance, including legislation that requires lawmakers to disclose any business they conduct outside of their role as a lawmaker. The pledge is part of Koch’s New York Uprising, a group of influential state residents who advocate nonpartisan redistricting, budget reform and ending “pay to play” politics.

“This year, voters are counting on candidates to commit to specific reforms in advance, as Joe has done,” Koch said. “I look forward to working with Joe to see them swiftly implemented should he be elected.”

Hevesi, who does not plan on signing the pledge but who said he has supported legislation supporting the ideas behind New York Uprising, is on the campaign trail touting his support for environmental legislation.

“He has been promoting alternative energy, such as solar and wind, to push that industry forward,” said Doug Forand, a spokesman for Hevesi. “This is going to be a big growth industry in the country and New York. That’s why he’s been pushing legislation to encourage that development.”

The assemblyman, who is being backed by the Queens Democrats, has supported a wide variety of environmental bills and the state Assembly recently passed Hevesi’s bill that aims to create a more comprehensive alternative energy policy for the state. Hevesi also recently sponsored leglsiation that he said would help residents living in rent-regulated apartments receive more accurate energy bills and reductions in housing payments.

Hevesi and Fox have since June 8 been traversing western Queens neighborhoods to garner petition signatures they need to land on the ballot for the Democratic primary this September. Both candidates said they have received more than the 500 signatures they need to file with the city Board of Elections by July 15.

“The response has been very positive, and we’re going to come in with a number of times over the required number of signatures,” Forand said. “We’re confident with how things are going, and we have a really strong volunteer operation out there. We have been five and 25 people knocking on doors every day.”

Fox said he, too, has secured more than 500 signatures by going door-to-door and hitting such public places as shopping strips, train stations, seniors centers, and the recent Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce street fair.

“We’ve exceeded the required number,” Fox said. “We’re fully expecting a challenge from the powers that be and we need to be prepared.”

Candidates are able to challenge signatures if they believe they are not valid and the city Board of Elections can strike the signatures from the record if it turns out they, for example, are from individuals who are not registered to vote in the district.

The Democratic candidates said they both heard concerns voiced to them during the petitioning process about the economy, jobs and education.

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

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