Primary Colors in Queens
by Anthony Stasi
Jul 05, 2012 | 3962 views | 1 1 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Most political races in the area are not going to be very close come November. There is the Republican primary race between Councilman Eric Ulrich and Juan Reyes, and there is the race that follows

that with incumbent State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr.

It is hard to predict how Reyes would stack up against Addabbo, since he has not been on a

ballot before. The Reyes family is known in Forest Hills – civic minded, well educated. Whether Reyes can hold up in a primary against a popular councilman and then a popular state senator is questionable at this point.

Interestingly enough, the Forest Park Republican Club, which meets on Metropolitan Avenue, was once the club that the Reyes family participated in politically. The club, however, has thrown its support to Ulrich, who dropped by last month to rally the troops to a win in November.

Ulrich seems to be more focused on the race in November than a primary race with Reyes. What could happen here is that Reyes, who has the endorsement of the Queens County Republican Party, could surprise a lot of people, since he has important professional contacts and has served in government at high levels.

The problem with coming into a race like this with a hefty political resume is that these races are all about the local vibe - being on the ground, attending every coffee klatch and block party. Addabbo is great at being visible, even when he is not holding office.

Between his loss to Al Stabile in 1997 and his second run for his old City Council seat, he was at every event in Rockaway and Ozone Park – and I know because every time I campaigned some place, he was right there.

Ulrich understands this strategy, which is why he was able to time his running in a special election for

Addabbo’s seat at the just the right time. Does Juan Reyes have the time to develop a local political fashion sense in the coming months? As a political junkie, I would say it is never too late, but winning

is hard, which is why re-election rates are usually around 90 percent.

Now that the Democratic Party has chosen its candidate in the 6th Congressional District, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, the race is between two candidates, if not for the other candidates. There is still a Green Party candidate in Evergreen Chou and the question as to what happens with the Working Families Party line, which was given to Assemblyman Rory Lancman.

Meng has the support of the mainstream Democratic Party, which she had even before winning the primary. She defeated Lancman, and she soundly defeated Councilwoman Liz Crowley (who I honestly thought was going to pull a wild upset and win in the end).

Now the Democratic Party does what it does best, it binds together and holds onto the seat. The only problem is that this formula has not played out in recent elections. The city council race between Dan Halloran and Kevin Kim did not show a unified front on the Democratic side.

People can say it is because of the muddiness of that campaign, but since when did mudslinging ever overcome a three-to-one registration advantage? There was a serious primary for that seat, and

the Democrats were divided after that, and whether that effect occurs again will remain to be seen.

Halloran has the Republican and Conservative lines, so he has no intra-party wounds to heal. I would also not expect too much national party money to find its way into this race since a lot of Republicans and Democrats are going to need help elsewhere.

The Democratic Party does not feel it should have to spend money in a stronghold like New York. The GOP rarely sees New York seats as viable and thus they too invest elsewhere. This will be the most competitive congressional race in the state.

The primary race in the 8th Congressional District turned out well for Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and even better for mankind. Charles Barron, the controversial councilman, was defeated and thus will

not go on to represent the district in Washington, D.C.

Jeffries was the more serious candidate, and although he did not get all of the important endorsements, he had to win. Losing this primary would have had ugly consequences for Congress and for New York State.

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Eric_Ulrich
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July 21, 2012
Get your facts straight. I'm probably more focused on cheating on my wife.