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Lynn Nunes aims to oust Council veteran

Lynn Nunes, a 23-year-old Richmond Hill native and businessman, is quick to admit he has no political experience. It is his “neighborhood insider” status, Nunes says, that qualifies him for the job of New York City Councilmember.
However, there is one small obstacle standing in Nunes’ path of the 28th Council District: three-year incumbent Thomas White, who happens to have served as Councilmember of the 28th CD, which includes Jamaica, Rochdale Village and Richmond Hill, for 10 years prior to being term-limited out in 2002.
Born in Manhattan and raised in Richmond Hill by a Brazilian father and a Chinese mother, the first generation Nunes calls himself “a person with different ideas, a different perspective and a different type of ambition.”
By the age of 15, Nunes was selling bed sheets and cologne at an Aqueduct flea market. By 18, he had obtained his real estate license and was working for Century 21. A year later, he had become an entrepreneur, opening Five Star Realty, which he currently runs out of Richmond Hill.
Nunes says his “keen knowledge of what’s going on” with regard to the housing market will lend itself well to providing community outreach to his prospective constituents who have been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis.
But foreclosure education is only one part of Nunes’ three-pronged approach to bettering his community. His strategy also includes improving education by reducing overcrowding and absenteeism in his district’s schools and investing in early education. Finally, Nunes hopes to shine a spotlight on economic activity - “or lack thereof.” By improving infrastructure, providing tax incentives and adding security he hopes to promote business in the area - if elected, of course.
Nunes, who calls himself cautiously optimistic about his shot at success, brushes off any skepticism about his age, citing a young Joseph Crowley and an even younger Chuck Schumer who were elected to the State Assembly at 24 and 23, respectively. Besides, political experience “is based off the system and a lot of people feel we’re not getting what we need, so obviously the system is broken,” Nunes said.
Councilmember White, who defeated Nunes once before in a Democratic district leadership contest, made it clear he is not focusing his energies on an election that is nearly a year away. He does not expect Nunes to be his only opponent, either.
“I’m serving the people right now,” White said, underscoring the foreclosure situation, the economic downturn and citywide cutbacks. “I don’t have the luxury right now of thinking about a reelection.”
For his part, Nunes, still running his real estate business, is focused on his campaign. He has amassed a staff of 50 and a $15,000 war chest and plans on utilizing the Internet in a grassroots approach to campaigning - “similar to what Obama did,” he said.
“Election day is going to change so many things,” Nunes added. “It’s going to change my life possibly.”

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