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Political July 16, 2009  RSS feed

The Political Scene

Ognibene Officially In Council Race

Former City Council Member Thomas Ognibene has announced that he is a candidate for the 30th City Council District seat up for grabs in the November 2009 general election.

Ognibene's campaign has filed with the New York City Board of Elections petitions containing the signatures of 3,000 community residents, far exceeding the minimum of 900. He will be running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines.

The campaign also confirmed that he has fully qualified for the New York City Campaign Finance Program and has met all requirements to receive matchable campaign funds.

"I am pleased to have the support of a broad range of our community residents," Ognibene said, noting that among his supporters are former State Sen. Serphin Maltese, former City Council Member Anthony Como, and various community and civic leaders.

"I will dedicate myself to providing the same strong voice and leadership in the City Council on behalf of our communities that I brought from 1991 to 2001 under the leadership of Mayor Rudy Giuliani," Ognibene concluded. "I believe that my experience will provide an energetic and aggressive voice on behalf of the forgotten, hard-working, middle class taxpayers of our community."

The 30th City Council District— which includes Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village as well as parts of Richmond Hill and Woodhaven—is currently represented by City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, who is running for re-election.

Local Unions Give Support To Reyna

The Teamsters Joint Council 16 and District Council 37 have endorsed City Council Member Diana Reyna in her bid to retain the 34th Council District seat. The unions represent a combined 295,000 workers around New York City.

"These unions not only represent hard-working men and women, but they are also part of the engine that keeps this great city moving and are so vital to our local economy," Reyna said in a statement. "I am proud to have their support."

"Diana's experience, leadership and public record as a Council member demonstrate that she is the clear choice for our union members and for New York City's working families," said George Miranda, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16.

Reyna was also recently endorsed by the Queens County Democratic Party, Rep. Edolphus Towns, Rep. Nydia Velázquez, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, District Council 9 of the IUPAT, International Union of Operating Engineers and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 237.

The two-term legislator is facing opposition from two challengers— District Leader Maritza Davila and Brooklyn Community Board 1 District Manager Gerald Esposito—in the Democratic primary, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 15. The 34th City Council District seat covers parts of Ridgewood (Brooklyn and Queens), Bushwick, East Williamsburg and Williamsburg.

Chain Gains Nod From Police Unions

City Council candidate Heidi Harrison Chain has gained the support of three NYPD associations in her campaign to win the 29th City Council District seat in Queens.

The Captains Endowment Association (CEA), Lieutenants Benevolent Association (LBA) and Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA)— which together represent more than 20,000 active and retired NYPD officers— have endorsed Chain, who currently serves as president of the 112th Precinct Community Council.

"I am honored to receive the endorsement of these great organizations," said Chain. "Throughout my years of service to the community, I have had the privilege of working with the brave and dedicated men and women of the NYPD, and look forward to continuing this wonderful relationship as a member of the City Council."

Chain has been the precinct council president for over 13 years. Union leaders cited her service not only as an attorney and director in the New York City Department of Finance but also as someone who has taken a special interest in the safety of her community.

Among the other organizations and groups that have endorsed Chain include the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 237, the CWA Local 1182, the Associated Musicians of Greater New York and the New York State Association of Auxiliary Police.

Chain is one of several candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the 29th Council District seat currently held by City Council Member Melinda Katz, who is running for comptroller. The district includes parts of Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Middle Village and Rego Park.

Baldeo Earns Many Local Endorsements

Community advocate Albert Baldeo, a candidate for the vacant 38th Assembly District seat, has garnered a number of endorsements from various elected officials, unions and other community leaders in the area.

State Sen. John Sampson, the Democratic conference leader, was the latest elected official to endorse Baldeo, one of a host of individuals running for the seat formerly held by Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, who resigned last month.

"Albert has earned the trust and support of everyone and has been working very hard in the entire district," said Sampson. "This is a fight which we must win because his effort will bring this community more into the mainstream of American politics and usher in new representation and leadership in Albany."

"Our district has been neglected for too long, and I will work hard for everyone in this district so that we can have a better standard of life, and everyone can truly live the American dream," Baldeo stated in announcing his candidacy.

The 38th Assembly District includes parts of Ridgewood, Glen- dale, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, South Richmond Hill and Woodhaven. The seat will be up for grabs in the Nov. 3 general election.

Political Scene does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Times Newsweekly/Ridgewood Times. All submitted press releases are subject to editing. Send press contact information by e-mail to info@timesnewsweekly.com or by fax to 1-718-456-0120.