The list of candidates running for the 38th District Assembly seat dwindled further this week when Lourdes Ventura, former counsel to state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) and counsel for Latino and Immigrant Affairs, and Nick Comaianni, Community Education Council of District 24 president, announced they are taking a rain check on campaigning until next year’s election for the full-term seat.
Ventura and Comaianni sought the Democratic endorsement in the Sept. 15 special election to fill the seat left vacant when former Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio resigned and pleaded guilty to fraud charges two months ago. When Democratic Party leaders chose Mike Miller, who has also received the Conservative and Independent Party endorsements, both candidates joined fellow Democrats Albert Baldeo and Farouk Samaroo and bowed out of the race.
All four contenders have said they will run in November 2010 for a full term, when they will face Miller or Republican candidate Donna Marie Caltabiano.
“I’m a resident in the district, have a young child and wanted to make a difference,” Ventura explained as her motivation behind running.
Prior to joining the Senate staff, Ventura worked as an associate at Ahmuty, Demers & McManus, a civil litigation firm. In addition, she served as an assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office from 2002 until 2006, where she investigated complaints and prosecuted cases involving allegations of unlawful discrimination in housing, education and places of accommodation, such as hotels.
In addition to heading CEC 24, Comaianni is a United States Navy veteran and chairman of Community Board 9’s education committee. He’s also a member of the board of directors at his Forest Park condominium complex, where he said he has witnessed firsthand the struggles seniors face fighting to maintain homes they worked hard to buy but can no longer afford to keep.