Fund-raising begins for Hevesi, Zulunova

Fund-raising begins for Hevesi, Zulunova
By Anna Gustafson

State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) and the Democrat running against him in the primary, Lilianna Zulunova, have thrown themselves head first into their campaigns, with each holding fund-raisers last week and pounding the pavement to win support from district residents.

The 28th Assembly District covers Forest Hills, Rego Park, Middle Village and Glendale.

Hevesi, the assemblyman since 2005, held a fund-raiser at the Woodhaven House, a pub in Rego Park, March 1 and Zulunova, the former campaign manager for City Council candidate Albert Cohen, scored $20,000 at her March 2 fund-raiser held at Da Mikelle II in Forest Hills.

A spokesman for Hevesi did not specify how much the assemblyman received from the fund-raiser.

“It was well-attended and we still have checks coming in,” said Hevesi spokesman Doug Forand.

About 100 people went to both fund-raisers and Zulunova said she was pleased to see Queens Independent Party Chairman Michael Niebauer and Bukharian Rabbi Itzhak Yehushua at her event.

“The people who attended it were from all different backgrounds,” said Zulunova, who has also worked as deputy chief of staff for former state Sen. John Sabini. “There were people from Forest Hills, Jackson Heights, Glendale, Middle Village, all over.”

Niebauer said there is a good possibility the Queens Independence Party could throw its support behind Zulunova.

“I was very moved by everybody who came out to support her,” Niebauer said of the fund-raiser. “It’s difficult to beat an incumbent, but she has overwhelming support in the community, so it could happen .%u2026 This is going to be a competitive primary.”

Forand said Hevesi “welcomes” Zulunova to the race.

“He’s very comfortable with his record,” Forand said. “The response he’s been getting has been phenomenal. People are very supportive of him.”

Both candidates have been spending many hours going door to door, an effort Niebauer said plays a major part in securing a victory.

“When he’s not in Albany, he’s going door to door,” Forand said of Hevesi.

Zulunova said people have been “excited” about her campaign when she speaks with residents at their homes.

“I’m receiving such positive feedback,” she said.

Hevesi and Zulunova have been busy in Albany lately. The state Assembly last month passed Hevesi’s bill that aims to create a more comprehensive alternative energy policy for the state and Zulunova traveled to Albany the day of her fund-raiser to rally for immigrant rights.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.