Today’s news:

Political Action: Qns. Republican Party backs candidates for guv, Assembly

The Queens Republican Party Executive Committee has begun 2010 with three important candidate endorsements.

On the evening of Jan. 13, it endorsed Rick Lazio for governor, thereby becoming the first downstate Republican county organization to do so. This endorsement is meaningful considering the importance of Queens in all political circles. Lazio already has the endorsement of several upstate counties and now Queens’ support gives him a strong claim on the Republican Party’s designation for governor.

That is especially true since Lazio has been gaining Conservative Party support and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has endorsed him.

In the Feb. 9 special election for state Assembly in the 24th Assembly District, which includes parts of Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Little Neck and Bayside, Bob Friedrich has been endorsed and will be running against Democrat David Weprin. Friedrich also has the Conservative Party’s endorsement.

Although a Democrat, he is running on the Republican line. He has support from state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose). Friedrich for 15 years has served as president of the Glen Oaks Village owners co-op.

The third endorsement was given to attorney Vincent Tabone, who was designated as the Republican Assembly candidate against Ann-Margaret Carrozza in the 26th Assembly District in northeast Queens, which includes most of Bayside, Whitestone, eastern Flushing, Douglaston and Little Neck. Tabone is presently executive vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party. He was instrumental in helping to direct the recent successful Republican City Council races in northeast Queens.

In a recent interview, Tabone indicated he wanted to use his experience in city government in an elected legislative position. In the recent past he has served in the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations as an official of the city Economic Development Corp. In that capacity he worked on Queens economic projects that he said created more employment.

Tabone’s main legislative goals are to work on lowering taxes and create jobs. He said his present opponent, Carrozza, voted to raise taxes 101 times during her tenure in the Assembly. He further indicated these tax increases came to billions of dollars. He also mentioned that in the recent legislative session before this year, she reported for work in Albany less than 40 percent of the time.

Tabone also believes quality-of-life issues are important, such as improving education facilities and parks in his district. He mentioned that “at the end of the day, all politics is local.” He intends to model his district office after that of Padavan, who is strongly supporting him.

Pertaining to the issue of new voting machines that will be used in this year’s fall election, Tabone believes more testing of these machines is needed before putting them in place. He is concerned the new voting process could affect the stability of the Election Day operation. Citing the increased use of paper absentee and affidavit ballots, he is concerned about possible fraud developing in the use of this form of voting.

He wants everyone who is eligible to vote to have the opportunity to do so, but he believes the use of paper ballots should be closely monitored. He favors the state Legislature, in conjunction with the state and city Boards of Election, developing a more effective system in the casting and counting of paper ballots.

In a statement to the people of the 26th Assembly District, Tabone said, “I would be honored to serve my friends and neighbors in northeast Queens as their representative in the state Assembly. I will be working with Sen. Padavan to improve our quality of life.”

Last year the Republicans captured three out of 14 Council seats in Queens. Will they continue this momentum in 2010? The 26th Assembly District of northeast Queens seems like a good place to start.

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