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2 candidates compete for Gennaro’s Council seat

By Alex Christodoulides

At least three potential candidates have considered running for Gennaro's seat in the 2009 race, though one has dropped out of the race, according to city Campaign Finance Board listings.Martha Taylor is named as one of two active candidates for Gennaro's Council District 24 seat. Taylor is the Democratic district leader for the 24th Assembly District, covering parts of Fresh Meadows, Jamaica Estates, Holliswood and Glen Oaks. She is also vice chairwoman of Community Board 8 and the Jamaica Estates Association, a founding chairwoman of the Friends of Cunningham Park, and active in the Queens Women's Bar Association, the Brandeis Lawyers Association (she is a former vice president of both organizations) and the Queens Bar Association. She is also the director of affirmative claims for city Comptroller William Thompson, whom she represents at the Queens Library.”I've just been thinking about it for so long, and decided it was time,” she said of her candidacy.While she did not file a campaign finance disclosure report with the board as of the Jan. 15 filing deadline, she said she has plans in the works for fundraising events and will file for the July 15 deadline.”I've been so active in the community for so long, and I feel I can make more of a difference that way,” she said.Michael Simanowitz, who is also a candidate for Gennaro's seat, said his life unfolds in the district and the time is right.He has been chief of staff to state Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn (D-Flushing) since 1996 and an auxiliary police officer in the 107th Precinct, where he has been commanding officer of the precinct's auxiliary cops for five years. He is also active in the Hillcrest and Electchester communities.”Everything I do is in the district,” he said. “Maybe I'm being a little naive when I say government needs to be a little more inclusive, but for people in this area the issue of concern to them is their issue, the pothole in front of their house, their Access-A-Ride. Sure, there are more global issues but people want to know there's someone there who's going to try like heck to get something done.”Taylor called Simanowitz a friend, saying, “I'm anticipating and hoping for a friendly race.”To date, Simanowitz has raised $56,773 for his campaign, according to filings with the city Campaign Finance Board dated Jan. 15. February's issue of the City Hall News noted that that figure places him in the top five first-time candidates in this City Council race. And thanks to term limits, now is his chance to make his mark on the district he calls home.”Jim Gennaro followed Morton Povman, who was in the community for 30 years, and I think he's done a good job,” said Simanowitz. ” Overall, I think he's been a good councilman. But term limits are up and now it's my chance.”Richard Harris, whose name appears on the list for the district, is one of two candidates on the list of 115 people eyeing a citywide office who have ceased fund raising, according to Campaign Finance Board listings.Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at achristodoulides@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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