2015-09-09 / Political Page

Dems To Choose Council Nominee For E. Queens Post

Democrats who reside in the 23rd City Council district in eastern Queens will go to the polls tomorrow to select from among the six candidates who are running for the vacant council seat in November.

The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for voting, but only Democrats registered to vote will be permitted to cast ballots. The 23rd district includes the areas of Queens Village, Bellerose, Glen Oaks, Oakland Gardens, New Hyde Park, Floral Park and Fresh Meadows. The vacancy was created last May when then Councilmember Mark Weprin resigned to join Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration in Albany.

The six candidates are:
Celia Devi Dosamantes, Bellerose
Bob Friedrich, Glen Oaks
Barry Grodenchik, Queens Village
Rebecca Lynch, Glen Oaks
Ali Najmi, Glen Oaks
Satnam Singh Parhar, New Hyde Park

Grodenchik appears to have the most support in getting out the vote tomorrow. He is the candidate of the Queens Democratic organization, led by Congressman Joseph Crowley, and by the New York City United Federation of Teachers (UFT). If both bring their best game to the fray tomorrow, it will amount to a small army of vote pullers.

Both Assemblyman David Weprin and his brother, Mark have endorsed Grodenchik and both are squarely in his corner. Both Assemblyman David Weprin and his brother, Mark have endorsed Grodenchik and both are squarely in his corner. Besides these candidates Assemblyman David Weprin and his brother, Mark, held this seat (David from 2002-2009, 8 years and Mark from January 2010 to June 2015, about 5 1/2 years). Their organizations in the district can be a formidable force in a local election where five other candidates are splitting the vote. Both have endorsed Grodenchik and both are squarely in his corner.

Of the others, all have interesting connections, but none with the potential to match Grodenchik’s voter-drawing pull out power.

Lynch is a Working Families Party member, which is a big plus, and reportedly worked impressively with Mayor de Blasio’s administration on several successful projects, but can she and her allies pull voters to the polls?

Dosamantes has worked for Congresswoman Grace Meng (D–Flushing), getting good marks. And Najmi, member of a South Asian group in the district, is an aggressive attorney, and Parhar, also a South Asian, has been helpful to incumbent officials, but he and Najmi will likely split the South Asian vote.

Which leaves Friedrich, president of Glen Oaks Village and a leading business leader. But he has challenged both Weprin brothers in election battles and each time came up very short.

Each of these six candidates has the ability to become an aggressive and effective councilmember, but each appears to be lacking the necessities to beat Grodenchik in the game of winning the nomination tomorrow.

Waiting in the wings to challenge the Democratic candidate is ex-NYPD Captain and Republican Joe Concannon in November. Concannon hails from the fabled Queens Village Republican Club, the oldest GOP club in the United States.

Al Stabile, former Ozone Park City Councilman, 68

Former Council Member Al Stabile, who represented Ozone Park and the Rockaways from 1994 to 2001, died over last weekend, Councilman Eric Ulrich reported. He was 68.

Flags were lowered at City Hall out of respect to him, said Ulrich, who represents the same district today. “So sad to hear about former Councilmember Al Stabile’s passing,” Ulrich (R–Ozone Park) wrote on his Facebook page last Saturday. “He was a close friend and confidante who had a heart of gold. Al was truly one of a kind.”

Ulrich said Stabile was born in the neighborhood of East New York, in Brooklyn, and later moved with his family to Ozone Park. He then ran as a Republican for Queens borough president, but lost in 2001. No cause of death was given, nor a listing of survivors. State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D–Howard Beach) issued the following statement regarding Stabile’s death: “I was saddened to hear of the passing of Al Stabile. Over the years, Al and I had a mutual respect and admiration for each other. He frequently told me how my dad, [former Congressmember Joseph Addabbo Sr.] was his ‘political hero’. I could talk to Al for hours about his own political adventures. Al was proof that the one main requirement to run for an elected office is the desire to help others. I pray for Al’s family during this difficult time.”

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