Thursday, November 4, 2010

Addabbo Holds Off Como's Challenge for State Senate Seat

By Eric Yun

A key State Senate seat will stay in Democratic hands as freshman Senator Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) defeated Republican challenger and former City Councilman Anthony Como in the 15th Senate District, which covers most of southern Queens.

Unofficial returns have Addabbo leading by 5,000 votes at 57 to 43 percent. Addabbo thanked his supporters at his election night party at Russo’s on the Bay on Crossbay Boulevard. He noted that there is still plenty of work to be done.

“I’m very thankful to my supporters for their many hours of volunteerism and support,” Addabbo said on Wednesday. “State legislature and government has to make great strides in reaching its full potential and performing for its people. That starts today.”

Meanwhile at Como’s campaign headquarters on Myrtle Avenue, his supporters held on to some hope. The campaign has not conceded the race yet due to “serious discrepancies” Como’s team says it has heard about the numbers from the Board of Elections.

“I’m very proud of the race we ran as a family and as a team,” Como said.

However, given the gap in the numbers, it seems almost certain Addabbo has won his reelection bid. “[Como] is entitled to do it [challenge the outcome] but I don’t know where he’s going to find thousands of votes in discrepancies,” Addabbo said.

On Wednesday, Como didn’t respond to several messages seeking additional comment on his plans to challenge the outcome.

During the course of the campaign, Como attacked Addabbo’s record of taxing and spending, and recently, tied him to the Inspector General’s scathing report criticizing Democratic leadership during last year’s Aqueduct bidding process.

“There are still many unanswered questions concerning the degree of Senator Addabbo's role in the Aqueduct scandal,” said Como in the days leading up to the election, “but it's clear from the Inspector General's report that his involvement demands further scrutiny.”

Addabbo meanwhile defended his record citing free energy audits to help small businesses, pushing the Aqueduct project through to provide more than 2,100 jobs to the community and introducing new legislation, including campaign finance laws, in an effort to make Albany more transparent.

The 15th Senate District covers Glendale, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Kew Gardens, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Ozone Park and parts of Elmhurst and Forest Hills.

In other area State Senate contests, incumbent Democrat Toby Ann Stavisky (D- Whitestone), who represents parts of Forest Hills, easily defeated her challenger, while Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) ran unopposed. In one of the night’s major surprises, former Democratic City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) beat longtime Republican incumbent Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) by six percentage points.

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