By William Lewis
The Democratic primary race for the 19th City Council District seat in northeast Queens has ended with Kevin Kim in the lead over Jerry Iannece. The final results of this election, however, will not be determined until all the absentee ballots have been counted. It is believed there are about 1,000 absentee ballots to be included in the final count.
Iannece had generally been considered the front-runner candidate in the race due to his more than 20 years of community involvement, including being the present chairman of Community Board 11. He had an impressive list of endorsements from labor unions and had the support of most of the community leaders in northeast Queens.
Regarding the campaign itself, Iannece’s campaign organization put forth a tremendous effort with over 4,000 homes visited and over 20,000 telephone calls made to prospective Democratic voters. In the end, there was a low turnout and the vote was spread among six candidates.
Kim had a strong base of support that came out on Primary Day to support him. In the closing days of the race, Kim and his youthful support group waged a continual, massive campaign that helped his vote totals.
If Kim should prevail in this Democratic primary, he will be facing the Republican candidate, Dan Halloran, who will also be the candidate of the Conservative, Independence and Libertarian parties.
Halloran wasted no time in speaking out about the fall campaign. He intends to be reaching out to conservative Democrats with the expectation that a significant number of them in the 19th Council District would be willing to support his candidacy.
He indicated he is opposed to dependence on government for improving our society at the local level. He believes Kim favors government involvement in our lives. He also mentioned that in terms of fund-raising, Kim raised 80 percent of his campaign funds from outside the 19th District, whereas 90 percent of the money Halloran raised came from within the district or in areas close to it.
Halloran also said he believed Kim voted for the first time in the 19th District during this past Democratic primary. He is looking forward to debating Kim during the forthcoming fall campaign.
In the 38th State Assembly District special election, Republican candidate Donna Caltabiano got close to 36 percent of the total vote, which she and her campaign staff consider a good total since Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 1/2-to-1, which means there are approximately 35,000 Democrats to 8,000 Republicans in the 38th Assembly District.
The Democratic candidate, Mike Miller, also had the designation of the Conservative and Independence parties, which gave him three lines on the ballot, compared to one line for Caltabiano. If she had the support of the Conservative and Independence parties, her vote totals would have been significantly higher. The Caltabiano campaign staff contacted about 4,000 households through personal visits and telephone calls during this brief race.
It is interesting to note that Miller, who was also the Conservative Party candidate in the 38th District, set up a joint campaign headquarters with City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), who is running against Thomas Ognibene, a Republican who also has Conservative Party endorsement. It seems Conservative-endorsed candidate Miller will be working against Conservative-endorsed candidate Ognibene in the fall campaign.
In the race for Republican district leader in the 28th Assembly District, insurgent Bart Haggerty prevailed over organization candidate Jay Golub. Haggerty had massive support from Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the form of a field operation and a recorded telephone message from Bloomberg that reached most of the registered Republicans in the district. There will be a lot more written about this race in the weeks ahead.