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Queens Election Roundup: Katz Gets WFP Endorsement; Vallone Family Matters

by Daniel Stein-Sayles, Jun 13, 2013

Rounding up Queens election news so far this week:

The Working Families Party has endorsed Democrat Melinda Katz in the highly contested Queens Borough President race.

“If you’re fighting for good jobs, affordable housing and quality schools, there’s no better ally for working families in Queens than Melinda Katz,” Working Families Party Executive Director Dan Cantor told the Daily News in yesterday’s edition.

The endorsement could mean a lot for Katz since an increasing number of New Yorkers are voting along the Working Families Party line. The third party claims on its website that 240,000 New Yorkers voted for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand along the party line in the November 2012 election — a record number for the WFP.

This news, along with the Queens Democrats’ endorsement of Katz in May, strengthen her bid to replace the term-limited current Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

Democratic Councilmen Leroy Comrie and Peter Vallone Jr. are also running for borough president, along with fellow Democrat State Senator Tony Avella and Republican Tony Arcabascio.

The Vallone name is becoming synonymous with Queens politics.

The bi-partisan Italian American Political Action Committee endorsed Italian American candidate Paul Vallone (brother of Peter) in his bid for the 19th City Council District, the Queens Gazette reported on Monday.

The 19th district in northeast Queens — which was reworked during the districting process last year — was held by Republican Daniel Halloran, who announced in May that he wouldn’t be running for re-election following being charged in a corruption case.

The crowded race for the City Council seat includes Democrats John Duane, Paul Graziano, Austin Shafran, Chrissy Voskerichian, Hank Yeh and Republican Dennis Saffran.

Meanwhile, Peter Vallone Jr.’s seat is up for grabs as he eyes the borough presidency.

Constantinos “Gus” Prentzas has declared he’s officially running for the 22nd City Council District.

Prentzas is a Community Board member and small business owner who will be vying for the City Council seat that encompasses Astoria against a number of rivals.

"Many in the community have been urging me to run to replace him (Vallone Jr.) to continue the progress of our community and build on his successful record,” Prentzas told the Queens Gazette in yesterday’s edition.

The other contenders for Vallone Jr.’s seat are Democrat Costa Constantinides, Independent Danielle De Stefano, Republican Daniel Peterson, and Green Party member Lynne Serpe.

—By Daniel Stein-Sayles

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