2008-05-21 / Features

Ober Endorsed By Avella But County Dems Plan Big Turnout For Crowley

Charles Ober Charles Ober Charles Ober, one of the underdogs in the five-candidate special election in Western Queens to replace former City Councilmember Dennis Gallagher, was endorsed by Councilmember Tony Avella and a local Democratic club from Ridgewood yesterday.

Ober, a Ridgewood Democrat, claimed that he beat out Elizabeth Crowley, also a Democrat, for the endorsements, and expressed confidence that his chances of winning had been enhanced.

Crowley, a 30-year-old Glendale resident who has the backing of the huge Queens Democratic organization, is considered the favorite in the contest because of the Democrats' support.

The district, covering Middle Village, Glendale and Ridgewood generally has elected Republicans to represent it. Among the three Republicans running, former Councilmember Tom Ognibene represented the district for about a decade before Gallagher succeeded him.

Anthony Como has the endorsement of the Queens Republican organization. Joseph Suraci is the other GOPer in the race.

Ober, who has been heavily engaged in community organizations, said the endorsements "are going to show that civic people can run for office and make a difference if we try". He said he would be announcing other endorsements before the June 3 election.

Besides Avella, Ober was endorsed by the "504" Democratic Club which is devoted to raising awareness for people with disabilities. Club President Edith Prentiss said the club was impressed with Ober's views toward the disabled.

However, the Democratic Party organization is preparing an all-out effort for Crowley on election day, according to Michael Reich, party executive secretary. "We've lined up an army of volunteers to get out every possible vote for Liz throughout the entire district on June 3," Reich promised. "She's far and away the best candidate in the race, she's been the chairperson of the Glendale civics, and she's been endorsed by the United Federation of Teachers, the Uniformed Fire Officers Association and many other organizations."

Among the Republicans, Como's county organization support gives him an edge in getting the party vote out, but Ognibene's roots go far back with Republicans and with the Conservative Party, which has officially endorsed him.- John Toscano

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