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Queens congressional incumbents sweep vote – QNS.com

Queens congressional incumbents sweep vote

By Nathan Duke

Democratic congressional members representing the borough handily defeated their Republican opponents Tuesday evening, according to early returns.

At 11:30 p.m.with 83 percent of the vote counted, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside), first elected to the 5th Congressional District in 1982, had garnered 72 percent of the vote, beating Great Neck Republican Elizabeth Berney, who had 25 percent, and Douglaston Conservative Jun Policarpio, who had 1 percent.

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D−Jackson Heights), first elected to the 7th C.D. in 1998, triumphed over Bronx Conservative Party candidate William Britt 84−15 percent, with 99 percent of the vote counted.

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D−Forest Hills), who entered the House in 1998 for the 9th C.D., defeated Brooklyn resident Alfred Donohue, a registered Democrat running on the Conservative ticket, by 92−7 percent, with 93 percent of the vote counted. Donohue had previously challenged Weiner in 2002.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D−Astoria), first elected in 1993, trounced Manhattan Republican Robert Heim 78−19 percent with 94 percent of the vote counted, while Liberal Party candidate Isaiah Matos had picked up 1 percent in the race. She represents the 14th C.D.

Ackerman focused his campaign on the economy and supported Congress’ $700 billion financial rescue plan in the wake of September’s Wall Street crisis.

Berney, a practicing attorney, criticized Ackerman’s stances on national security during her campaign. Policarpio, a Philippines native who ran against Ackerman in 2004, slammed the congressman for voting against a non−binding resolution recognizing the importance of Christmas.

The 5th District covers Bayside, Flushing, Whitestone, Corona, Douglaston, Jamaica Estates, Little Neck and several Long Island communities.

Crowley, chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, focused on the economy, eliminating U.S. dependence on foreign oil, affordable health care and ending the war in Iraq during his campaign.

Britt said he opposed nationalized health care and proposed allocating money to dredge waterways in the borough around sewage outlets.

The 7th District covers Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Maspeth, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, College Point and parts of the Bronx.

Weiner called for a timeline to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq, higher−paying jobs in his district, preventing foreclosures and improved health care. Weiner lost a bid for mayor in 2005, but plans to run again next year.

Donohue was pro−life and against Social Security for immigrants entering the country legally or illegally.

The 9th District covers Forest Hills, Maspeth, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Middle Village, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Rockaway Beach, Woodhaven and parts of Brooklyn.

Maloney said the economy was her focus. She said she believed borough infrastructure projects, such as the East Side Access project, connecting the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal and the rebuilding of the Queens Plaza roadway, would provide numerous jobs.

Heim, a former prosecutor with the Securities and Exchange Commission, focused his campaign on the economy, education and anti−terrorism initiatives.

The 14th District covers Astoria, Long Island City and the East Side of Manhattan.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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