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Baldeo suspends campaign, endorses Addabbo

After months of vowing to run in both the primary and general election in the 15th State Senate District, Albert Baldeo abruptly pulled an about face and endorsed current Queens City Councilmember and presumed Democratic candidate Joseph Addabbo.
Baldeo and Addabbo made the announcement at a joint press conference outside of Baldeo’s law office in Ozone Park on Friday, August 22, where Baldeo pledged not to run in the September 9 primary and campaign for Addabbo.
“He made a decision to put the greater good before his personal interest in running, and I admire and I appreciate that,” said Addabbo, who was joined by Baldeo, Congressmember and Chair of the Queens County Democratic Organization Joseph Crowley, State Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith and Congressmember Gregory Meeks at the announcement.
Baldeo, who lost the 2006 election to incumbent Republican Senator Serphin Maltese by less than 1,000 votes, will remain on the primary ballot, but he said he would not campaign for himself and instead focus all of his efforts on having his supporters help Addabbo.
“The members of my campaign will go out and campaign for him,” Baldeo said. “We want to energize the base, bring in new voters and new immigrants into the base.”
The 15th Senate district has received a great deal of attention during the past year as the Senate Democrats are targeting Maltese’s seat as one of the ones that would help the Democrats retake the majority in the Senate. Currently, Senate Republicans hold a slim 32-30 majority over the Democrats so a controversial primary between Addabbo and Baldeo was clearly something Democrats wanted to avoid.
“It became increasingly clear to me that it was going to divide the Democratic base of our party and create a nasty primary,” said Baldeo, who cited the Democratic Presidential primary between U.S. Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as an example.
In addition, Senator Smith, who would likely become Senate Majority leader if the Democrats picked up the necessary seats to retake control of the Senate, also praised Baldeo’s actions.
“It takes a tremendous character to lay aside personal plans for the good of the state,” Smith said. “We can now unite behind Joseph Addabbo who can bring about the real economic change we need to get New York working again.”
During the past year, Baldeo and Addabbo have not been the closest of allies, with each person criticizing the other at various points throughout the past year. Addabbo acknowledged that putting aside their history would not be easy, but he believes it will help achieve his and the Democratic Party’s ultimate goal.
“I told him [Baldeo] a long time ago that I’d rather work with him than work against him,” Addabbo said. “If he works with me and if it’s a successful, one we can work for his clients or constituents.”
In addition to receiving Baldeo’s support, State Senator Shirley Huntley and DC 37 Retirees, which represents more than 50,000 retired municipal workers, also threw their support behind Addabbo.
“One thing about this campaign is that is has absolutely gained steam since the early part of this year,” said Addabbo.
Although he said his day-to-day responsibilities for his constituents coupled with campaigning early morning at train stations and going door to door at night to meet new voters was a balancing act, he said his energy and enthusiasm will carry him until the November 5 election day.
“I plan on resting [after] November 5,” Addabbo said. “From now until November 5 I’m not going to rest; it could be a 24/7 operation.”

Related article: Addobbo seeks to topple Maltese

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