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Queens Election Roundup: BP Candidate Against Soccer Stadium; Sustainability Forum

by Daniel Stein-Sayles, Jul 10, 2013

An influential councilman who happens to be running for Queens borough president is opposed to building a Major League Soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. BP candidate and City Council member Leroy Comrie told the Daily News that building a stadium at the park won’t be of any benefit to Queens’ residents.

Comrie’s statement against the proposed $340 million  stadium came around the same time that he and fellow Queens Borough President candidate and City Council member Peter Vallone Jr. announced their opposition to the current $3 billion Willets Point mall proposal.

Comrie chairs the City Council’s land use committee.

Queens borough president candidates tackled sustainability issues at a forum Monday night. But that’s not what got the most attention from the media. Candidate Tony Avella accused fellow candidate Peter Vallone Jr. of cheating during the debate, according to DNAinfo New York. Former state Sen. Avella called out Councilman Vallone in the middle of the forum for using his phone during the debate. Avella said that Vallone staffers were texting him answers to questions. Vallone claimed he was merely texting his daughter and tweeting.

After discussing issues such as Sandy recovery and protecting Queens parks, Vallone shot back at Avella, implying he was out of touch.

"[Avella] doesn’t understand Twitter, apparently," he said. “I don’t even think he has Twitter."

On Tuesday, the Daily News reported that Rep. Grace Meng endorsed Melinda Katz for Queens borough president. Meng’s popularity among Queens’ residents makes this a nice pickup for Katz.

“Melinda understands that every Queens resident must be treated equally, and will work to give every community a voice as leaders make decisions on important issues," Meng was quoted as saying in the Daily News.

Katz leads the race in endorsements, but she is running second to Peter Vallone Jr. in the money race, according to the Campaign Finance Board, Vallone has more than double what Katz has raised.

In addition to Katz and Vallone Jr., Leroy Comrie, Tony Avella and Everly Brown are running as Democrats; Tony Arcabascio is the lone Republican running.

Daniel Stein-Sayles

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