TENSE DEBATE IN TIGHT RACE
With polls suggesting that the race is nearly tied, last Thursday’s debate in Middle Village for the 15th State Senate District seat reflected the heated atmosphere of the campaign, as both Democratic State Sen. Joseph Addabbo and his Republican rival, City Council Member Eric Ulrich, traded attacks and defended their respective records before voters.
The sparring between Addabbo and Ulrich-both of whom reside in Ozone Park and have served in the City Council’s 32nd District seat- began in earnest in their responses to questions by the Times Newsweekly’s Sam Goldman regarding the allocation of discretionary funds (also known as member items).
As previously reported in this paper, Ulrich had attacked Addabbo at the Glendale Property Owners Association’s October meeting for failing to secure funding for groups in the senate district. The senator explained at the time that funding requests which he submitted were frozen and/or vetoed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a result of budget cuts.
During last Thursday’s session, Addabbo repeated his explanation, noting that the governor put a halt to the state’s discretionary funding as a result of recent scandals involving state lawmakers who were found to have misused funds.