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Astoria pols face GOP rivals

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (l.) will face Republican opponent Christopher Wight in the Nov. 6 election. Photos courtesy Carolyn Maloney and Christopher Wight
TimesLedger Newspapers

While longtime U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) and Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) did not have to contend with a primary contest, both will have challengers in November’s general election for their redrawn districts.

Republican Christopher Wight, a Manhattan-based investment banker who most recently worked at J.P. Morgan Chase, hopes to prevent Maloney from scoring an 11th term in 2013. Wight also has the backing of the state Conservative Party.

Some of his policy positions include tax cuts for individuals and businesses, job creation in the energy field, education reform that favors school choice, increased aid to Israel and setting a clear limit on the amount of uranium Iran should be allowed to have to prevent it from making a bomb.

Maloney has been in Congress since 1993 and has been most well-known for her championing of women’s rights issues and health care for first responders who have gotten sick working on the pile at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 attacks. Her platform calls for increased rights for LGBT Americans, bans on gun sales to criminals, the passage of the DREAM Act, job creation through infrastructure projects and encouraging loans to small business owners.

The district Maloney and Wight are fighting over once included all of Astoria, as well as Long Island City and parts of Sunnyside and Manhattan. Redrawn as part of the 2012 redistricting process, the district loses Astoria north of Ditmars Boulevard in exchange for parts of Brooklyn.

North Astoria is now part of the district currently represented by Crowley, which also includes Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, Woodside and parts of Sunnyside, Maspeth and the Bronx.

Crowley has two people running against him: Republican and Conservative Party candidate William Gibbons and Green Party candidate Anthony Gronowicz. Crowley, who has been in office since 1999, has been an advocate for the controversial health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act and job creation.

Gibbons has no website or contact information and has made no public statements regarding his policy positions. Bronx author and professor Anthony Gronowicz’s platform includes universal health care, free college, affordable housing and a living wage.

To the south of Astoria, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Ridgewood) – whose district contains parts of Ridgewood, Sunnyside, Brooklyn and Manhattan – will be going up against Conservative Party member James Murray in the November election. Velazquez’s platform centers around issues of economic growth, affordable housing, immigration and bringing the U.S. military out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Murray does not have a campaign website and could not be contacted by press time.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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