Maloney Signals She Will Run For U.S. Senate
Congressmember Carolyn Maloney has decided to run for the U.S. Senate next year, challenging incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, despite efforts by highly placed Democratic Party officials to give Gillibrand an unchallenged opportunity to win the coveted seat by election, rather than appointment.
Last week, we asked Maloney's campaign officials whether she would run for the Senate post. We were told there was no decision at that point to take steps to become a candidate.
However, this past Sunday, June 14, a story in the Daily News reported that Maloney had told congressional colleagues she would challenge Gillibrand for the party's nomination.
One colleague, Congressmember Anthony Weiner (D- Queens/Brooklyn) was quoted in that story as saying, "She told me that she's running." Maloney reportedly made a similar statement to Congressmember Steve Israel (D- Long Island).
Ironically, Israel had been eager to seek the Senate seat himself, but U.S. Senator Charles Schumer asked President Barack Obama to ask Israel to refrain from challenging Gillibrand and Israel agreed.
Sunday's story said Maloney had not received a call from the White House, but a previous story in another newspaper said Maloney had received a telephone call from Vice President Joe Biden. That story did not expand on what Biden or Maloney had to say about the conversation.
Sunday's story said Maloney is expected to make an official decision by July 4. It also noted that a Gillibrand campaign official said Gillibrand's strategists were concerned only that Israel would be trouble for Gillibrand in a primary, and that Maloney is taken less seriously by people.
However, despite the Gillibrand camp's assessment, downplaying Maloney as a challenging candidate, and Gillibrand's improved prospects since first being appointed by Governor David Paterson to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton when Clinton became Secretary of State, supporters of Maloney like her chances.
Joe Trippi, who will be Maloney's chief strategist, said a prospective challenger shouldn't drop his or her ambitions just because "people in power don't want you to make the race".
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, another person whom Maloney had told of her plans, implied Gillibrand was not all that formidable a candidate because she has not yet been elected as a Senator, and had only been "appointed by someone who had not won election to the office he held", a thinly veiled reference to Paterson who replaced Eliot Spitzer when Spitzer resigned and also had not won an election to fill the seat.
Gillibrand previously served in Congress, representing an upstate district. She got some early flack on her pro gun control and anti-abortion views, and has since eased away from those positions.
Maloney started her career in public service by being elected to the City Council in 1982 from the Upper East Side. She served for 10 years and then won election to Congress from the same area, later adding portions of Astoria and Long Island City through redistricting.
Maloney is presently in her 17th year in Congress. Over the years, she has become one of the foremost advocates of women's issues, consumerism and financial services.
KOSLOWITZ FUNDRAISER: Queens Democratic Party Chairman Congressmember Joseph Crowley, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Borough President Helen Marshall are headlining a fundraiser for former Councilmember Karen Koslowitz, who is presently running to reoccupy the 29th District seat she held for eight years before being term limited out of office in 2001.
The money-raising affair is set for Wednesday, July 1, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Terrace On The Park in Flushing Meadows- Corona Park.
Also seeking the Forest Hills/Rego Park seat are that area's former Assemblymember Michael Cohen, Heidi Harrison Chain, 112th Police Precinct Community Council president, and Lynn Schulman. Not too many years ago, Koslowitz and Cohen formed the Democratic district leader team in the Rego Park area.
After Koslowitz finished her previous service as a councilmember in 2000, she joined Marshall's staff at Queens Borough Hall as the Deputy Borough President. Cohen, meanwhile, served in the Assembly for a brief period before resigning the post.
CATSIMATIDIS ENDORSES BLOOMBERG: John Catsimatidis, the millionaire owner of the Red Apple Group of supermarkets who had been expected at one point to seek the Republican Party nomination for mayor, endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a third term, according to Sunday's New York Post.
"As the economic meltdown continues, it grows ever more apparent that New York City needs the continuity of leadership that a third term for Mayor Bloomberg will provide," Catsimatidis wrote. "He has the proven skills and the needed fire in the belly."
ENDORSEMENTS: Paul Vallone, who's seeking the Democratic nomination for the 19th Council District seat in the Bayside/College Point/Whitestone area, took the occasion of his recent birthday party to announce that he and city comptroller hopeful, Councilmember Melinda Katz, had exchanged endorsements and will support each other's campaigns.
Katz is in a four-way fight for the Democratic Party nomination, which includes council colleagues John Liu, who has the county Democrats' support and David Weprin, and David Yassky of Brooklyn.
Paul Vallone, of Bayside, is pitted against Bayside civic activist Jerry Iannece in the Democratic primary.
Vallone introduced Katz and announced their mutual endorsements at his June 9 party at Verdi's of Whitestone where more than 200 guests (family, friends, supporters and contributors) were present. Vallone is the son of former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. and brother of Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. (D- Astoria), who is running for re-election in November.
Iannece was endorsed by the county Democratic Party organization. He was recently re-elected Community Board 11 chairman, is presently vice president of the Federation of Italian-American Organizations of Queens and a member of the Queens Civic Congress.
•Councilmember Helen Sears (D- Jackson Heights) has been endorsed for re-election to a third term by the 50,000-member NYC Building Service Employees Union 32BJ.
Incumbent Sears, who has been designated and endorsed by the Queens Democratic organization, is being challenged for the nomination by Daniel Dromm. But Dromm has been assured of a place on the ballot in the general election in November by virtue of having been endorsed by the Working Families Party. The WFP cited Dromm's 25 years as a public school teacher and added "there's no doubt that Danny knows and loves his community." The district includes Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst.
•The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators has endorsed Assemblymember Mark Weprin for the 23rd City Council district seat in Hollis presently held by his brother, David, who's running for city comptroller.
In making the endorsement, the union, which represents school principals, cited Mark Weprin's strong record of supporting public education and his efforts to improve the lives of children and families in NYC since serving in the Assembly since 1994.
The candidate for the Democratic nomination has opened a campaign headquarters on Bell Boulevard at 73rd Avenue in Oakland Gardens.
•Jimmy Van Bramer, seeking to win the Democratic nomination for the 26th Council District seat being vacated by Councilmember Eric Gioia, has been endorsed by Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley. In his endorsement, Conley cited Van Bramer's "commitment to our neighborhoods and a strong desire to work for the people of the 26th district". Conley also observed Van Bramer's efforts on behalf of Board 2 in anti-graffiti cleanups and other campaigns, he said.
The Queens Democratic organization has designated and endorsed Deirdre Feerick as its candidate in the 26th CD race.