Monday, January 19, 2009

City Council Races Heating Up 13 Hopefuls Jockey for 2 Seats in Feb. 24 Election by Lisa L. Colangelo - NY Daily News

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CANDIDATES FOR two vacant City Council seats in Queens are revving up their campaigns, pushing for donations and starting to spend cash as the Feb. 24 special election draws near.

According to documents filed last week with the city Campaign Finance Board, businessman Michael Ricatto tops the list, having already spent $96,190 in the race for the 32nd District slot.

Seven candidates are running for the seat held by Joseph Addabbo Jr., who was elected to the state Senate in November.

Ricatto has financed thousands of dollars in local newspaper ads out of his own deep pockets.

Local activist Eric Ulrich has spent $47,436 so far. Frank Gulluscio, a former top aide to Addabbo, has raised more than $40,000 but only spent about $5,800.

Former NYPD lieutenant Glenn DiResto has raised $8,196 and spent $3,644, while Democratic District Leader Geraldine Chapey has not spent any of the $21,760 she has raised.

Candidate Sam DiBernardo has elected not to participate in the public financing system. Candidate Lew Simon was unable to provide figures last week.

Six candidates have lined up to fill Councilman Hiram Monserrate's 21st District seat.

Julissa Ferreras, Monserrate's former chief of staff, is leading the pack in fund-raising. She received $50,772 and spent $27,456.

Democratic District Leader Francisco Moya has raised $38,518 and spent $16,781. Carlos Pena has raised $13,882 and not yet spent any of it.

Candidate Jose Eduardo Giraldo raised $19,600 and spent $12,990, George Dixon raised $11,545 and spent $2,005, and Angel Del Villar raised $2,977 and spent $4,938.

In the race for public advocate, Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) has maxed out on the fund-raising he can do for the Democratic primary election.

Public Advocate candidates can each spend as much as $3,850,000 for the primary, and Liu has already raised more than he can spend, based on his private contributions and his claimed public matching funds - a total of $4.6 million. Coming close to the same more-than-he-can-spend plateau is Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside), who has raised a combined $3.5 million in private contributions and claimed matching funds.

With Frank Lombardi