The race for the 26th Assembly District between Democratic candidate Ed Braunstein and Republican candidate Vincent Tabone has been gaining lots of attention in Northeast Queens.
Braunstein, 29, handily won the Democratic nod in September after raising more funds than his three opponents combined. During his first political campaign, he has been able to out-raise Tabone $231,567 to $115,161 and hopes endorsements from Democrats like State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Congressmember Gary Ackerman will carry him to victory.
“We’ve stuck to our plan so far,” said Braunstein’s campaign manager Austin Finan, who sees the endorsement from gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo as being a boost to the campaign. “We expect him to do very well for our district.”
Tabone – who has spent time as a high ranking official in the New York City Economic Development Corporation in both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations – has urged voters to look at his record compared to his opponent before making their choice on November 2.
“When Ed was an intern for [Assembly Speaker] Shelly Silver, I was running a multi-billion dollar agency,” said Tabone, who expects Braunstein’s lack of experience to be a major issue for voters. “He just passed the bar this year. If I were going to hire a lawyer, do I want one with a life-time of experience or one that just passed the bar?”
Both candidates have tried to paint the other as a politics-as-usual choice. Tabone says that Braunstein has no right to call himself a reformer while accepting donations from special interests in Albany while the Braunstein camp says that Tabone is a career-politician and far from a political outsider. On Election Day, Braunstein is hoping that his lack of experience will help him secure a victory.
“Ed is a fresh face with fresh ideas. He hasn’t made a career out of running for political office,” said Finan.
For Tabone, it’s all about record.
“When the rhetoric does not match the record, I think it turns people off,” said Tabone. “Voters are smarter than that.”
After 14 years as the Democratic incumbent, Ann-Margaret Carrozza decided not to run for re-election for her 26th District Assembly seat.
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