Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gulluscio Eyes Second Shot at Young GOP Incumbent Ulrich by Howard Koplowitz - Queens Campaigner

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Eric Ulrich (l.) is hoping to defend his young incumbency against Democrat Frank Gulluscio (r.).

The widely anticipated contest between City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Rockaway Beach) and Democratic District Leader Frank Gulluscio never came to fruition in the February special election to succeed state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), but the two will get another chance in November.

Petitions for Gulluscio, a former Addabbo aide and Community Board 6 district manager, were successfully challenged by special election candidate Geraldine Chapey, knocking Gulluscio off the February ballot.

The February special election was for the remaining year on Addabbo’s four-year Council term, while November’s contest will be for a new term.Ulrich, a Republican, and Gulluscio, a Democrat, are the only two candidates in the District 32 race, which covers Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and part of the Rockaways.

Both come into the race with big-name endorsements — Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Ed Koch for Ulrich and the Queens Democratic Party for Gulluscio.

But both campaigns are strapped for cash, with Gulluscio having $15,482 in his campaign war chest and Ulrich only $400, according to the latest campaign finance filings May 15. Ulrich’s numbers do not include a few thousand dollars that were yet to be transferred from his special election campaign account.

Prior to being knocked off the special election ballot, Gulluscio, 60, said being on the Council would be a natural extension for him after working as an aide to Addabbo.

He contended he had more experience than the 24-year-old Ulrich, but it was unclear how effective that point would be after Ulrich has spent 10 months in the Council as of the November contest.

Ulrich touted his involvement in the community, including being the president of the Our Neighbors Civic Association in Ozone Park, and ran on a campaign of “fresh ideas.”

The councilman’s first sponsoring of legislation was a bill to require a 2/3 majority in the Council to raise taxes.

He defeated Republican Michael Ricatto, Chapey and Democratic District Leader Lew Simon in the special election.

None of the other special election contenders are declared candidates this time around.