Today’s news:

Silverstein pulls out of race for Halloran’s seat

Matthew Silverstein (l.) has ended his City Council campaign.
TimesLedger Newspapers

A Democratic candidate in the crowded primary to challenge City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) for his seat dropped out of the race over the weekend.

Democratic State Committeeman Matthew Silverstein announced his decision to leave the race on Sunday, labeling the last year as “one of the most difficult” of his life, leaving four others to duke it out for their spot on the ballot come November.

“In December, my mom passed away from cancer at the age of 66. My mom was an amazing woman who wanted me to continue fighting for the issues I care about,” Silverstein said in a statement. “However, after consulting with my friends and family, I have decided to suspend my campaign.”

Silverstein said he was not ready to endorse any other candidate vying for the seat, but he did have plans to do so in the near future.

The Bay Terrace native reported just under $10,000 in his campaign coffers before pulling out of the race - the second lowest total of the five Democrats in fund-raising for the spot.

The four primary candidates who remain include Bayside’s Austin Shafran, Whitestone attorney Paul Vallone, former state Assemblyman John Duane from Douglaston, and Flushing activist and urban planning consultant Paul Graziano.

The winner will go on to face Halloran for the 19th Council District, which represents communities in northeast Queens, in November.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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