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Learn more about this district in Searchlight 2002
x-Joseph P. Addabbo, Dem 14,462 - 55 percent
Joann Ariola, Rep 11,250 - 42 percent
John J. Baxter, Ind 400 - 2 percent
Robert Curran, Gre 397 - 1 percent
Joseph P. Addabbo 4,899
Lew M. Simon 2,545
John Seminerio 2,400
Christina Jorge 1,383
(Official Vote Count from the Board of Elections)
Incumbent: Al Stabile (can't run
General Election Update
Contributors to these candidates, according to the Campaign
to Joe Addabbo, Jr.
to Joann Ariola
John J. Baxter has not filed.
to Robert Curran
to Christina Jorge
to John Seminerio
to Lew M. Simon
Official Primary Election Voter Guide for Residents of District
32 candidates' statements on the issues, at Savvyvoter.org
Martina Duran and firefighter Joe Palmer Doyle were knocked off
the Democratic ballot. "I think Palmer found out that running
into a burning building is easier than running into the Board
of Elections," said Congressman Anthony Weiner, who had encouraged
the firefighter to run. Joe Addabbo, Jr. was also removed from
the Liberal line. See the Campaign Update for more details.. Posted
The Bridge (Bus, Train And Metrocard) To The
There are other issues facing district 32 besides transportation,
as all three candidates will tell you, their answers connecting
in some way to their particular areas of interest and experience.
Joe Addabbo, Jr. a real estate attorney, notes that young families
are moving out of the area. Chris Jorge, the director of Rockaway
Artists Alliance, says there need to be more programs for the
youth. And Palmer Doyle, who thanks to a recent change in election
rules has become the first firefighter to run for city office
in 100 years, says single-room occupancy hotels with absentee
landlords are "a firefighter's recipe for disaster."
But they all agree on one thing. They say improved transportation
is a key to bringing their district together. They mean this literally.
District 32 is divided by the Jamaica Bay.
According to all the candidates, frequent construction on the
Marine Parkway Bridge regularly bottlenecks traffic. The A train
from Manhattan to the end of the line is one of the longest subway
rides in the city. The Green Bus Lines, which runs (irregularly,
they say) to the south end of the Rockaway peninsula, is not part
of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and so does not
allow for Metrocard transfers. And residents have been lobbying
to revive the old Rockaway-Long Island railway and ferry service
to Manhattan for years.
"A lot of people wonder why I work with the Port Authority for
Community Board 10," said Addabbo, who is the son of a deceased
Queens congressman. "It is so I can learn how to work on transportation
issues." There are also issues presented by nearby JFK airport--noisy
flight patterns, airport expansion, and road construction on the
Van Wyck expressway. And when improvements are made, the candidates
say, they do not go far enough.
"The Air Train from JFK to Howard Beach is great, but it stops
there and does not help the areas further out," said Jorge.
District 32 has one of the largest geographic area of any city
council district, and so it is not surprising that the area has
a wide range of constituents and needs. It encompasses neighborhoods
like Ozone Park with its large Indian community, Howard Beach,
a predominantly Italian and Jewish neighborhood, Broad Channel,
one of the only neighborhoods that can boast about a wildlife
refuge as a main attraction, and the southern portion of Rockaway
peninsula with beautiful, but often neglected beaches.
The diverse neighborhoods may be a factor in the area's history
of racial violence, particularly involving youth. In 1986 in Howard
Beach, a group of white youths attacked three black men, which
resulted in a high profile, racially motivated murder case that
many in the area would like to put behind them. But there have
been more recent racial attacks that suggest racial tensions still
exist; teenagers said they were specifically looking to beat up
members of the Indian community in Ozone Park. That is why the
candidates want to give the youth of district 32 particular attention.
"In the Rockaway . . . , there are no movie theaters, no bowling
alleys, and few after-school programs," said Jorge. Doyle said
that if he were elected he would hire a staff person to focus
just on youth issues. The Rockaways also have a history of difficulties
resulting from the placement of mentally ill and homeless people
in single room occupancy hotels. When Doyle bought his house six
years ago, he says there were fifteen illegally zoned SROs in
a ten-block area. As a firefighter, he saw the problem primarily
as a safety issue and has worked with the Queens Borough President's
task force to address the problem. Jorge, who has a background
in mental health issues, says she was inspired to run for public
office because of "frustrations in dealing with city services,"
particularly for the mentally ill.
The candidates also note the district's education concerns. Former
Chancellor Rudy Crew ousted the area's superintendent, and when
new schools are built they become quickly overcrowded. Addabbo
said he often asks people that are moving out of the area why
they are leaving, and he always hears the same response. "Ten
years ago it was safety. Today 99 percent of the time it is because
"If there is a proposal to get rid of the Board of Education,
I would have to look at it closely."
Addabbo, who feels his background and experience make him the
best candidate, says he has warned voters to "watch out for those
brand new faces." The other two candidates hope their lack of
political experience can work to their advantage.
"I think a lot of people are tired of career politicians and
think maybe it is time to give the regular guy a shot," said Doyle.
"Well no one is more regular than me. Maybe the voters will go
to the polls and say 'hey, here's the fireman' and pull that lever."
Joe Palmer Doyle, the fire fighter running in district 32, was
knocked off the ballot after Lew Simon, the area1s Democratic
district leader, challenged his signatures. "I raised $6,000 and
I knocked on a lot of doors," said Doyle. "But I just didn1t have
the horses I needed." Doyle said he would now endorse Joe Addabbo,
Jr. Martina Duran was also knocked off the Democratic ballot and
Addabbo, Jr. was removed from the Liberal party line.
There are now four Democrats, one Republican, and one Independence
candidate left in the race.
Democratic candidate John Seminerio is campaigning on issues
like education, transportation, and constituent services. "People
in the Rockaways tend to feel they are not a part of Queens and
they are not a part of Brooklyn. They feel like they are out there
where they are ignored," said Seminerio. "When (Councilmember)
Al Stabile opened an office in the Rockaways and then closed it
down, the people felt particularly abandoned."
Lew Simon is also campaigning on local issues. "We1re talking
about fixing the boardwalk, getting rid of the toll on the bridge,
getting the Long Island Rail Road stop reopened, and subsidizing
ferries," said Simon.
Joann Ariola is hoping she can keep district 32 as one of the
only six Republican districts in City Council and is emphasizing
her experience as a staff member at City Council. "I recently
worked on getting $300,000 into the city budget to subsidize the
Gateway ferry," said Ariola. "It costs $13, so if we can get it
subsidized it would be more affordable. We1re now waiting for
the state and federal government to do their part."
The field of candidates is appearing at frequent debates trying
to attract voters attention in one of the few races in which the
Queens Democratic Party has not endorsed a candidate.
Lew Simon is counting on his experience as Democratic District
leader and his Good Government Regular Club, which boasts 3,000
members. Joe Addabbo, Jr., son of a former Congressman, is leading
the other candidates in fundraising. John Seminerio is holding
house meetings with small groups of voters. "Promise us ten people,
and we1ll come to your house and bring the coffee," said Seminerio.
"You promise 20, and we1ll bring cake." Chris Jorge successfully
defended her petition challenges in court and said, "I not only
survived, I emerged as [Lew Simon1s] greatest threat to victory."
Joanne Ariola is content to watch the four way Democratic primary
and focus on the general election in November. "I have a wonderful
chance," said Ariola. "Even though Democrats outnumber Republicans
three-to-one, we have an extremely conservative district."
Robert Curran, who is running as a Green candidate, hopes he can appeal to
people who are tired of politics . "I'm a Democrat, but I think people are
tired of the Democratic party system," said Curran. "I'm running because I
don1t think the other candidates represent the people I know. Lawyers, son's
of politicians, and government staffers do not have the same concerns as
Curran, who is the only Green candidate to be endorsed by the League of
Conservation Voters, said does not think of himself as a fringe candidate.
"I'm running to win," said Curran.
Joe Addabbo Jr. is an attorney that specializes in residential
and commercial real estate. He has served as a Democratic committeeman
for the 23rd Assembly District, a board member of the South Queens
Democratic Club, president of the Ozone Tudor Civic Association,
and chairman of the Port Authority Sub-Committee of Community
Board 10. He graduated from St. Johns University, and has a law
degree from the Touro College School of Law. He ran for City Council
Joann Ariola is currently a member of the New York City
Council central staff. In the past she worked for Councilmember
Al Stabile, Councilmember Noach Dear, and as Director of Community
Services for district 32. She has served as Female Republican
State Committeewoman in the 23rd Assembly District and as a party
official for the Republican party in Queens. She ran for State
Assembly in 1996. She is a member of St. Helen1s Parish.
John Baxter (no information available.)
Robert Curran is an Emergency Medical Technician. He also
serves as an adjunct faculty with CUNY-Brooklyn College and as
president of Rockaway Park Business Development Association. He
graduated the University of Pittsburgh. He co-founded a family
street fair on Beach 116 Street.
Martina Duran (no information available).
Palmer Doyle is a firefighter with Engine 254 and Ladder
153 in Brooklyn. He has served as President of the 100th Community
Council, as a member of Community Board 14, and as a participant
on the Queens Borough President's Illegal SRO Task Force.
Chris Jorge is a program director for Rockaway Artists
Alliance. She has worked in the past as a registered nurse at
the Maimonides Community Mental Health Center. She serves as a
the co-chair of the Project to Reach Rockaway Youth in Safety
and Education, on the advisory council of the St. John1s Home
for Boys, as a member of the Committee on Reform of Education,
as a board member of the Neponsit Property Owners Association,
and the Queens Council of the Arts. She is a graduate of Kings
County Nursing School, has a BS in nursing from Long Island University,
and a masters degree in educational psychology from New York University.
John Seminerio has served as president of the Woodhaven
Block Association and as Democratic district leader for the 38th
Assembly District. He was one of the founding members of the Friends
of Forest Park and a mentor for Covenant House1s program for trouble
youth. He worked to restore Engine Firehouse 294, the Remsen Family
Cemetery Plot and the James Brown House, one of the few remaining
colonial structures in the city. He graduated from the School
of Visual Arts and has a law degree from Yeshiva University/Cardoza
School of Law.
Lew Simon has been the Democratic district leader in Far Rockaway for the past seven years.
He founded the Good Government Regular Democratic Club and has been involved in politics for
25 years since he first ran for the position of delegate to the countywide judicial
convention at age 18. He has also served as Chairman of the Rockaway/Broad Channel Bridge
Toll Committee. As a teenager, he worked in the Yeshiva of Belle Harbor where he is still
active in community activities.
In Ozone Park's 32nd District, all the candidates are for better transportation, more cops and better schools. With the area split by Jamaica Bay, each candidate is fighting to secure his or her base. (Daily News)
The firefighter running for City Council in Far Rockaway was knocked
off the ballot because he did not have the 900 signatures needed
to qualify. ""An ordinary Joe doesn't have a chance," said candidate
Palmer Doyle. (Newsday)
The entrance of Democratic leader Lew Simon at the last moment
has added more drama and interest to a City Council race that
already includes a number of local residents. Simon joins local
residents Chris Jorge, Palmer Doyle, Robert Curran and John Macron
in the race. Simon, Jorge, Doyle and Curran are all vying for
the Democratic nod in the coming primary election. Macron is a
Republican. Also vying for the seat are such non-Rockaway residents
as Joe Addabbo, Jr. and John Seminario, Joann Ariola and Alex
Lutz. Addabbo and Seminario are Democrats, Ariola and Lutz, Republicans.
What with Joseph Addabbo, Jr. and Geraldine Chapey and Lew Simon
heading a raft of viable candidates, the Queens Democratic Organization
punted on this one. Instead of deciding to designate one of these
powerful people, they decided not to decide. As of now, the 32nd
Council District will have no one designated by the Queens Democratic
Rockaway Democratic District Leader Lew Simon has been a maverick
for most of his political life. Now he is running for City Council
against the son of a former Congressman and the man mostly likely
to get the support of the Democratic County Organization, Joseph
Addabbo, Jr. If Addabbo is to be beaten, it will be Simon who
will be the most likely to win. Simon is running in a four person
race against Addabbo, fireman Palmer Doyle, and activist Chris
Jorge. But Simon alone has a massive political organization, the
Rockaway-based Good Government Democratic Club (which claims more
than 3,000 members) as the base of his support for the Council.
"I never had a problem getting signatures," Simon told me. "The
Rockaway Wave called me The Petition King. (Queens Courier)
Palmer Doyle, who announced yesterday that he would run for City
Council in district 32 in Queens, became the first NYC firefighter
in 100 years to be a legal candidate for office. A 1998 law allows
members of the Fire Department of New York to keep their jobs
while serving in public office. Previously, firefighters had to
resign within 10 days of being designated a party candidate. (Daily
Joann Ariola resigned as Councilman Al Stabile1s chief of staff.
Though leaving Stabile with whom she has worked for six years,
Ariola said she has no intentions of leaving politics. She currently
holds the position of Republican District Leader and told The
Wave that she in very much interested in running for Stabile1s
City Council seat when term limits force him out in two years.
She said she will remain an active supporter of the community.