Hevesi deflects Dem primary challenge

Hevesi deflects Dem primary challenge
By Anna Gustafson

State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) fended off Democratic challenger Joe Fox in Tuesday’s primary, taking 60.34percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

Hevesi, who received 2,984votes, according to unofficial results, will run against Republican Alex Powietrzynski in November’s general election to represent the 28th Assembly District, which covers Forest Hills, Rego Park, Middle Village and Glendale.

“We’re really gratified to see the level of support that came back from the community,”, said Doug Forand, a spokesman for Hevesi. “New York faces a lot of challenges, and people want a state legislature that will deal with those challenges. The work Assemblyman Hevesi’s been doing, especially on job creation and community and reform issues, clearly are the things that the people of the district want to see their legislator doing.”

There were 1,961number of residents who cast their ballots for Fox, which represented 39.66percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

“This was my first foray into candidacy for public office, and it was a very positive experience,” said Fox, a Community Board 6 member and an attorney. “I was empowered by the expression of support by such a large number of people in our community, and I expect to remain a very vocal presence in the community.”

Rose Anderson of Forest Hills said she voted for Hevesi.

“He’s been good about staying on top of things in the district,” Anderson said after voting at Russell Sage Junior High School in Forest Hills. “He sends me his newsletter, which may not sound like a good thing, but it helps me know what’s going on. Not all elected officials are as helpful as he is.”

A woman at the PS 144 voting site, who only wanted to be identified as a longtime Forest Hills resident, said she threw her support behind Fox.

“I walked my daughter to Russell Sage this morning, and a man handed me a Hevesi card, and I told him, ‘I’m definitely not voting for Hevesi,’” she said. “Well, it turned out the man giving me the card was Hevesi. I voted for all the challengers this year.”

Dina Allweiss, the poll coordinator at Russell Sage, said more voters came to the site than expected Tuesday.

“We’ve had about 220 people by noon, which is definitely better than normal,” Allweiss said.

Troy Chislom, who was helping residents with the city’s new voting machines at Russell Sage, attributed the greater turnout to people “being curious about the new scanners.”

While Allweiss and other poll workers in Forest Hills said their machines were working smoothly, machines throughout the city malfunctioned to such an extent that Mayor Michael Bloomberg slammed the city Board of Elections’ management of Primary Day.

The new system, mandated by the federal Help America Vote Act, makes voters select their candidates by filling out ovals — something reminiscent of multiple-choice tests — on a paper ballot that is fed into the scanner.

Hevesi’s campaign platform has focused heavily on education, quality-of-life issues, government reform and environmental legislation. Fox in his campaign has emphasized government transparency, fiscal responsibility, tenant rights and traffic.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-457