2009-09-16 / Features

Thompson Gets Mayoral Nod, Some Council Races Too Close To Call

BY JOHN TOSCANO

Councilmember John Liu Councilmember John Liu Democrats gave Flushing Councilmember John Liu the lead in yesterday's city comptroller primary, according to incomplete and unofficial returns. He could be sharing the citywide slate with city Comptroller William C. Thompson, who won in the mayoral primary voting.

However, as the Gazette went to press and 96 percent of the vote was in, Liu had 38 percent of the vote. His closest opponent, David Yassky, had 30 percent. Liu must get at least 40 percent of the final official vote total to avoid a runoff. He was leading Queens Councilmembers Melinda Katz and David Weprin.

Thompson was an easy winner over Bayside Councilmember Tony Avella and will face Mayor Michael Bloomberg in November's mayoral election.

Councilmember Bill de Blasio was ahead in the race for the Public Advocate nomination, again with 96 percent of the votes counted, leading his closest opponent, former Public Advocate Mark Green with 32 percent of the vote to Green's 30 percent, but he also must get at least 40 percent of the final vote total to join Thompson on the citywide slate.

Borough President Helen Marshall was also an easy primary winner with 71 percent and 97 percent of the votes counted, and will be seeking re-election to a third term in November.

In the primaries covering Queens' 14 council districts, four were definite winners because the candidates had not been challenged.

The one incumbent definitely winning her party's nomination was Councilmembers Julissa Ferreras (21st District, Corona/Jackson Heights);

Newcomer Assemblymember Mark Weprin, who was running for a council seat for the first time and replacing his brother, David, who held the 23rd District seat covering Holliswood in Northeast Queens, had 50 percent of the votes with all precincts reporting..

The other three Queens incumbents and one newcomer who had no opponents were also crowned winners when the voting ended. They were: Councilmembers Peter Vallone Jr. (22nd District, Astoria); James Gennaro (24th District, Fresh Meadows), and Elizabeth Crowley (30th District, Glendale/Maspeth). The unchallenged newcomer given the party's nomination was Frank Gulluscio, a Democratic district leader in the 32nd District (Ozone Park/Howard Beach).

• In the 19th District, covering Bayside, Whitestone, College Point and Douglaston, the two leading vote-getters as the returns flowed in were Kevin Kim with 30 percent of the vote and Jerry Iannece with 24 percent. Paul Vallone had 22 percent of the vote when all precincts reported..

The other four candidates, trailing in order, were Steven Anthony Behar, Thomas E. Cooke, and Debra Markell.

• In the 20th District (Flushing), the early leader in the period from when the polls closed at 9 p.m. and the Gazette went to press at about 10:30 p.m., was Yen S, Chou, with 24 percent of the vote. Isaac Sasson and S.J. Jung followed, each with 22 percent. John Choe, who had been endorsed by Comptroller candidate John Liu and the county's Democratic Party organization, and who had the advantage of Liu's coattails in Liu's home district had 16 percent of the vote..James Wu, a Flushing businessman and community activist who had received several significant endorsements, had 14 percent.

• The other crowded and close race was in the 29th District, covering Forest Hills and Rego Park. The top vote-getter as the early returns streamed in was Karen Koslowitz with 25 percent. Koslowitz had held the council seat previously. and was Queens deputy borough

president from 2002 to the present.

Koslowitz' closest challenger was Lynn C. Schulman, with 22 percent.Heidi Harrison Chain had 19 percent; Koslowitz' former Democratic co-leader, former Assemblymember Michael Cohen had 13 percent. Further back were Mel Gagarin and Albert Cohen.

• In the 25th District, covering Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst, incumbent Councilmember Helen Sears lost out to Daniel Dromm, a school teacher and community activist, with 39 percent of the vote to Dromm's 49 percent. The main issue used against Sears was her vote for amending the term limits law, which allowed her to run for a third term. Dromm has also attacked Sears' record generally. Dromm got the Working Families Party endorsement, which guaranteed him a solid get-out-the-vote effort yesterday.

Sears had the backing of the county Democratic Party organization, but one former ally, former Assemblymember Ivan Lafayette, defected to Dromm, endorsing him.

• The early returns in the 26th District race between Jimmy Van Bramer and the organization-backed candidate, Deirdre Feerick, put Van Bramer ahead of Feerick by 45 to 37 percent of the vote.

In the 27th District contest in South Jamaica between incumbent Leroy Comrie and attorney Clyde Vanel, who headed up the Obama supporters in last year's presidential primary who defeated the Hillary Clinton backers that were led by Comrie, Comrie coasted to an easy 62 percent victory over Vanel's 37 percent.

The 28th District contest had Thomas White and Lynn Nunes in a dead heat with 31 percent each.

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