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Throngs of Candidates Come Forward for City Council Seats

City Hall (Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)

July 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Throngs of candidates are already coming forward for next year’s primaries, as nearly all the city council seats in Queens will be “open” at the end of next year.

Most city council members will be forced to vacate their seats at the end of 2021 due to term limits — leaving a near blank slate for local city government.

In Queens, 11 members must retire from their positions in the city council, while four members — Barry Grodenchik, Adrienne Adams, Robert Holden and Francisco Moya — are eligible for another term.

Dozens of candidates have already launched their bids to replace the outgoing electeds or challenge incumbents, with the June 2021 primaries less than a year away.

Many of the candidates have begun reporting fundraising to the New York Campaign Finance Board (NYCCFB), providing a peak at who could make it on the ballot.

Races for the districts representing Astoria, Long Island City and Forest Hills are particularly crowded, the filings show.

The list below names candidates for each Queens city council seat, according to the NYCCFB filings. More names are sure to be added in coming months.

Next year’s primaries will also see the launch of rank-choice voting, which allows voters to choose multiple candidates and rank them by order of preference.

District 19, currently represented by Paul Vallone:
Tony Avella
Richard Lee

District 20, currently represented by Peter Koo:
Hailing Chen
Sandra Ung

District 21, currently represented by Francisco Moya:
Francisco Moya

District 22, currently represented by Costa Constantinides:
Jaime-Faye Bean
Leonardo Bullaro
Jesse Cerrotti
Evie Hantzopoulos
Felicia Kalan
Nicholas Roloson
Rod Townsend

District 23, currently represented by Barry Grodenchik:
Barry Grodenchik
Christopher Fuentes-Padilla

District 24, currently represented by Rory Lancman:
TBA

District 25, currently represented by Danny Dromm:
Suraj Jaswal
Shekar Krishnan
Alfonso Quiroz

District 26, currently represented by Jimmy Van Bramer:
Tavo Bortoli
Lorenzo Brea
Julia Forman
Heajin Kim
Sultan Maruf
Brent O’Leary
Bianca Ozeri

District 27, currently represented by I. Daneek Miller:
Timothy Turane
Nantasha Williams

District 28, currently represented by Adrienne Adams:
Adrienne Adams

District 29, currently represented by Karen Koslowitz:
Evan Boccardi
Eliseo Labayen
Sharon Levy
Lynn Schulman
Edwin Wong

District 30, currently represented by Robert Holden:
Juan Ardila
Robert Holden

District 31, currently represented by Donovan Richards:
Latoya Benjamin
Franck Joseph
Manuel Silva

District 32, currently represented by Eric Ulrich:
Kaled Alamarie
Michael Scala
Felicia Singh

District 34, currently represented by Antonio Reynoso:
Jennifer Gutierrez

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Comptroller Scott Stringer will also be forced to vacate their seats at the end of next year.

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Larry Penner

During the 1990s, under Republican Mayor Rudy Guiliani the GOP elected Tom Olgibene along with Mike Abel and Alfonse Stabile of Queens along with Charles Millard and Andrew Eristoff in Manhattan, Marten Golden of Brooklyn and Fred Cerillo of Staten Island to the NYC Council. This resulted in their caucus growing to a record seven members. They were able to work with Democratic Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Senior who has many more moderate members to form a working bi partisan majority coalition.

Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Queens GOP elected Dan Halloran, Peter Koo and Eric Ulrich. Koo. Halloran has to resign due to legal difficulties and Koo eventually changed his enrollment to Democrat.

Flash forward to the current NYC Council. The NYC Council class of 2017 is far more liberal than previous generations. City wide Republican Council members are down to three including Staten Island GOP Councilmembers Joseph Boreilli and Steven Matteo along with Queens Eric Ulrich.

In NYC, Democrats have gerrymandered City Council district lines for over fifty years from the days after abolishment of the old Board of Alderman. At one point, after the Borough wide Councilmember at Large positions were abolished in 1982, there was only one Republican City Council member – Susan Molinari of Staten Island.

The golden age of Republican NYC Council members in the Big Apple outside of Staten Island will never be seen again. Ulrich will go down in history as the last Queens Republican Councilmember.
(Larry Penner — historian of NYC municipal government and politics)

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