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Concannon launches Senate bid in Bayside

Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa (r.) speaks in support of state Senate-hopeful Joseph Concannon (l.) at the candidate's headquarters' opening celebration.
TimesLedger Newspapers

State Senate hopeful Joseph Concannon said that, if elected, he will focus on reducing crime and taxes and bringing new jobs into the community at an opening celebration at his new campaign headquarters in Bayside Saturday.

“Crime is an issue — shouldn’t be, but it is,” he said. “Taxes are an issue — shouldn’t be, but they are.”

At the new office space at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center, at 212-73 26th Ave., speaking to a full room of supporters and elected officials, the Republican Party candidate detailed his platform, including a pledge to reduce regulation on small businesses.

“[Small business owners] are being pounded left and right with city regulators, state regulators and federal regulators coming into their businesses,” he said.

Concannon said he spoke with one owner of a dry cleaning business who was hit with a $1,500 fine because letters on his sign were too small and not spaced far enough, and said, according to his estimation, store owners are being fined between $5,000 and $15,000 every year.

In addition, regulations seem to be aimed less at health and safety now than they once were, he said.

“It seems as though we’ve changed the emphasis to revenue sharing,” he said. “And this is the city’s way of going into your pockets and grabbing that out.”

Concannon said he would make all regulations as transparent as possible and available on the Web so business owners will be more informed about the rules and could share notes.

He also spoke about his ideas for taking on crime and fixing taxes and education, saying he would tackle rising city crime rates by increasing communication with local police and better informing the community, hopes to lower taxes by pushing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to operate within budget and wants to improve education by cutting bureaucratic red tape.

Several Republican politicians who attended the headquarters’ opening celebration, including Phil Ragusa, the Queens GOP chairman; Frank Padavan, a former senator; City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone); and Tom Long, chairman of the Queens Conservative Party; heaped praise on Concannon, pointing to his experience as an NYPD captain and a local business leader and his involvement in the community.

Many also railed against his opponent, Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), arguing he has been ineffectual in the Senate and has spent too much time campaigning rather than focusing on helping his district.

“I would challenge anyone anywhere to tell me in the last two years one — just one — accomplishment that the incumbent can put his name to in the state Legislature in Albany either for the city, his district or anyplace else,” Padavan said. “There are none.”

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at kfrantz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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