The anticipated fall match-up, which may determine control of the State Senate, just got a little more complicated. Call it addition by subtraction.
Albert Baldeo, who in 2006, came within approximately 800 votes of unseating incumbent Senator Serphin Maltese, dropped out of the race and threw his support behind the Democratic establishment candidate, City Councilmember Joseph Addabbo.
Two years ago, when Baldeo ran an insurgent campaign without any assistance from the State Democratic Party, he nearly toppled the seemingly impenetrable Republican State Senator, providing an early wake-up call to Democrats eager to find a way to win control of the State Senate.
Baldeo had announced plans to run again this year, and again, he would not be receiving the support of the State or Queens County Democratic Party who have endorsed Addabbo. Fearing that having Baldeo on the ballot as a possible third-party candidate might detract from Addabbo’s chances of defeating Maltese in the fall. Rumors swirled of deals to get Baldeo out of the race, but he would not budge until this past week when Baldeo announced that he was dropping out of the race and throwing his full support behind Addabbo.
Baldeo cannot officially withdraw from the Democratic Primary since it is too late to remove his name from the primary ballot.
After learning that Baldeo had opted not to run and would be supporting Addabbo, Queens County Republican Party Chair, Phil Ragusa, immediately responded with a statement claiming, “Mr. Baldeo’s own web site calls City Councilmember Joe Addabbo a law-breaking, tax-increasing, animal rights-abusing puppet who denigrates and harasses minorities. With this in mind, Addabbo should come clean with voters about what promises were made and what deals were cut that led to this miraculous conversion.”
Regardless of what may or may not have occurred preceding Baldeo’s decision to withdraw from the race, his absence is one less obstacle Addabbo will have to hurdle.
Addabbo received a second shot of good news when he was endorsed by DC 37 Retirees, which represents more than 50,000 retired municipal workers. Maltese still figures to be very tough to beat, even without Baldeo in the race because of the wide-ranging support he has garnered from public safety sector union workers who comprise a significant voting block within his district.
To combat that strong support, Addabbo will likely court the new immigrant and minority community vote - now that Baldeo is out of the race.
FOR MORE ON POLITICS SEE THE INSIDE WORD ON PAGE 26