Friday, July 23, 2010

Frank Padavan Scores Independence Line For State Senate Race In Queens, But Anthony Como Is Blocked By Chris Bragg - City Hall News

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In his attempt to hold off former New York City Council Member Tony Avella this year, State Sen. Frank Padavan will have the crucial Independence Party line.
But fellow Queens Republican Anthony Como, who is running against State Sen. Joe Addabbo, will not.
The party’s executive committee officially submitted its endorsements on Monday.
Both riled members of the State Independence Party by using members of the party’s rival New York City faction to gatherer their petition signatures. Padavan was pulled from the precipice thanks to his longstanding ties with party chair Frank MacKay and his close relationship with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an Independence ally and benefactor.
But in Como’s race, the line went to Addabbo.
“I was able to keep one of them off,” said Michael Zumbluskus, a downstate executive committee member who was upset with the campaigns’ use of rival signature gatherers, and claimed victory from keeping Como off the line.
Zumbluskus said that the decision was also helped by Addabbo’s campaign carrying petitions for Independence Party state committee members, while Como’s had not.
Como campaign spokesman James McClelland sought to downplay the development, which could make it difficult for Como to win in a Queens district with a heavy Democratic enrollment advantage. McClelland said that Como’s campaign met Sunday night after learning of the news and decided they still would be viable going forward.
“It’s not a blow to the campaign, because this year the anti-incumbent sentiment is so strong,” he said. “In the past, the Independence Party was more of an asset.”
Though Padavan is seen as having a close relationship with Bloomberg, Como does not. After losing a Council election in 2008, Como voted against the term-limits extension. He says he was later offered a job by the Bloomberg administration as a commissioner at the New York City Housing Authority, which prompted him to skip a planned reelection bid for his old Council seat. But the job never materialized.
To those watching the situation, Bloomberg’s fingerprints are on some other party endorsements as well. According to Zumbluskus, Mark Pollard—a pro-charter school candidate running a Democratic primary gainst State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery in Brooklyn—also got the Independence nod.
State. Sen Toby Ann Stavisky, meanwhile, got the Independence nod despite the support of Queens County executive committee member Michael Niebauer for Democratic challenger Isaac Sasson.
Niebauer is one of a number of executive committee members around the state disheartened that local candidate picks got trumped by state party leadership.
“They never make us look good here in Queens,” Niebauer said. “We’ll see what happens. I don’t know what we’re going to do.”