2016-11-02 / Political Page

Clinton – Trump Top Ballot On Tuesday

Capping a long, bitter and divisive campaign for this country’s presidency, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will get the final decision next Tuesday evening after the nation’s voters have cast their ballots and the final count is in.

As always, the polls anywhere in New York State will be open for voting from 6 am to 9 pm. Voters will also be casting ballots to determine if US Senator Charles Schumer gets re-elected to the US Senate. There also will be voting for Congress members and State Legislators in the State Senate and the Assembly in Albany, and also for judges seeking seats on the state Supreme Court.

But the most attention will be riveted upon the top of the ticket to see if voters will select Clinton as this country’s first woman president; an historic event, or go with Trump, whose fitness to run the country has been questioned throughout the campaign. Most of the polls taken on the presidential race had Clinton on top.

In Schumer’s race, where the veteran lawmaker was opposed by Manhattan attorney Wendy Long, a Republican, Schumer is a clear favorite. If the Democrats win control of the Senate, Schumer’s a good bet to be elected as the Senate’s leader. But that would happen anyway even if the Dems do not win control. The Brooklyn lawmaker is approaching his 50th year in public office, and he’s been eyeing the Senate leader’s post for several years.

In the Congressional and State Legislative races, Queens Democrats, led by party Chairman Joseph Crowley, appear to be favored to win a majority of races over their Republican opponents. Incumbents usually have this advantage. There are also many new names on the ballot, some Democrats and many Republicans, challenging incumbent Democrats, who have become veteran lawmakers over recent years.

People who vote regularly will recognize the names of Democrats who are running for reelection, but there might be some surprise that 11 Democrats running for reelection have no opposition this year. We’ll help clear up these absences by listing them here.

The non-challenged Democrats on the ballot are: Edward Braunstein, 26th AD (Bayside), Michael Simanowitz, 27th AD (Fresh Meadows); Andrew Hevesi 28th AD (Forest Hills), Alicia Hyndman 29th AD, (Rosedale); Michele Titus 31st AD, (Springfield Gardens); Vivian Cook, 32nd AD (Jamaica); Michael DenDecker, 34th AD (East Elmhurst); Jeffrion Aubry (35th AD, (East Elmhurst); Aravella Simotas, 36th AD (Astoria); Cathy Nolan 37th AD (Ridgewood); and Francisco Moya, 39th AD (Corona).

Among the new faces on the ballot are Democrat Thomas Suozzi, 3rd CD (Long Island/Northeast Queens) and his Congressional opponent, Jack Martins, Republican (Long Island). Also Brian Barnwell, 30th AD (Maspeth), who defeated Marge Markey in the primary. Barnwell is opposed by Republican Anthony Nunziato, a Maspeth businessman who ran against Markey several times.

Barnwell moved rapidly into contention in Maspeth because he played a major role in blocking construction of a homeless shelter to replace a hotel. Nunziato, who grew up in the area, has operated a floral shop there for several years.

Another new face in an Assembly race is Stacey G. Pheffer Amato, who may succeed her mother, Audrey Pheffer, as the Assembly Member in the 23rd AD (Rockaway). She is opposed by Alan Zwirn, Republican. Brooklyn-born Zwirn has lived in Rockaway for the past 25 years. The district includes Ozone Park, Broad Channel and Breezy Point. Both candidates are first-time office seekers.

One other new face, Mike O’Reilly, of Broad Channel, an ex-Marine, is challenging veteran Congress Member Gregory Meeks for his 5th CD seat. Meeks a Democrat is seeking a 10th term in Congress, in the district that includes Southeast Queens and a small church of adjoining Nassau County. O’Reilly worked his way through night school to get his law degree and has also worked as an airline pilot for Delta Airlines. He’s on the Republican-Conservative lines. There’s also a Green Party candidate in the race – Frank Francois.

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