By Ivan Pereira
The status quo will remain for the political scene in southeast Queens as the area’s City Council incumbents won their bids for consecutive terms Tuesday.
Councilmen Thomas White (D-South Ozone Park) and James Sanders (D-Laurelton) both defeated their rivals on an Election Day thatalthough not as busy as the presidential racelast year, drew big crowds in the neighborhood.
“I’m hoping that the best candidate wins,” said Elijah Davis, 79, who voted for White at PS 223 in South Jamaica.
White defeated his Conservative Party rival, Ruben Wills, with 8,604 votes, according to unofficial results from NY 1. Wills, who was defeated by White in the Democratic primary in September, received 1,184 votes.
White represented the 28th Council District, which covers Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Jamaica and Rochdale Village, from 1994 and 2002 and was term limited out of office. He was re-elected to the post in 2005.
Sanders beat Republican challenger Scherie Murray with 14,529 constituents choosing him vs. 1,807 votes for her, NY 1 reported. The former Marine has been representing the 31st Council District, which covers the areas of Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, Rosedale and the Rockaways, since 2002.
“We are glad the people of the 31st District spoke loudly and clearly that they wanted bold leadership at City Hall. We are humbled and grateful of this victory. There is a lot more work to be done,” Sanders said in a statement.
Murray could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday night.
Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) ran unopposed and will also be serving a third term as the representative for the 27th Council District, which covers St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Jamaica, Baisley Park, Addisleigh Park and parts of Queens Village.
Voters in neighborhoods such as St. Albans, Springfield Gardens and Laurelton came out in large numbers to vote for the Council contenders as well as the mayoral and borough president candidates, but polling stations did not have the packed long lines that were present last year.
Anne Garrick, who voted at PS 156 in Laurelton, said last year she had to wait for an hour to put in her vote, but this year it took minutes.
“Last yearit was the presidential election and the line was around the corner,” she said.
Mary Odom, who has been living in Laurelton for 33 years, voted for Bloomberg. Although she said she was disappointed he and the Council extended term limits, she said he was the best candidate to lead the city during the recession.
“It was a little unfair,” Odom said about the overturning of term limits. “But we are in a scary time.”
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.