Crowley lost Dist. 30 despite edge in funds

By Nathan Duke

Democrat Elizabeth Crowley led the way in contributions by a huge margin during the recent special election race to replace City Councilman Dennis Gallagher (D-Ridgewood) that Anthony Como won, according to city Campaign Finance Board figures.

Crowley, a cousin of U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), raised a total of $103,258.13 during a period beginning April 25 and ending Tuesday, according to Campaign Finance Board figures. Crowley has said that she plans to make another run for the seat this fall.

Republican Anthony Como, a former city Elections Board commissioner who defeated Crowley in the June 3 election by a mere 42 votes, earned the second highest amount of contributions among the race's four candidates with $28,635, according to the board's figures. Como also received $12,740 in matching funds, the board's figures show.

Crowley was the only one of four candidates in the race for the 30th Council District seat not to participate in the Campaign Finance Board's program to match campaign contributions.

Crowley's contributors included City Council members Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) and David Weprin (D-Hollis), as well as Joseph Crowley, state Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), a number of citywide unions and employees from the city's Department of Education, according to the board.

Como's contributors included a number of business owners in the district, Queens County Republican Party Chairman Philip Ragusa and neighborhood senior centers, as well as employees from the city's Elections Board and DOE, according to the board.

The 30th CD covers Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Glendale and parts of Rego Park, Forest Hills and Richmond Hill.

Democrat Charles Ober, a local civic leader, received $25,572 in contributions during the race for Gallagher's seat, and earned $6,039 in matching funds, according to the board's figures. Ober has not declared whether he will run for the seat in November.

Among Ober's contributors were the Ridgewood Historical Society, members of the city's DOE, retirees and Con Edison employees, according to the finance board.

Republican Thomas Ognibene, who previously held Gallagher's seat and ran for mayor in 2005, received $8,820 in contributions, the finance board's figures show. Ognibene, who has said he will not run for the seat this fall, also received $3,046 in matching funds.

Ognibene's contributors included employees from the Manhattan district attorney's office, Shops at Atlas Park owner Damon Hemmerdinger and Maspeth Federal Savings Bank President Kenneth Rudzewick, according to the board.

Gallagher stepped down from office on April 25 as part of a plea deal to keep him out of prison following his arrest last year for sexually abusing a 52-year-old Middle Village woman at his district office.

The Campaign Finance Board's figures include candidate's filings through June 26, a spokesman for the board said. The next filing deadline will be July 15, during which candidates from the recent special election must file as well as those from around the city who intend to run again this fall, the spokesman said.

The spokesman said post-election audits have just begun and that they would likely be completed within 12 months to 14 months.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.