Crowley defends City Council seat from political newcomer Caruana

Crowley defends City Council seat from political newcomer Caruana
Photo by Ken Maldonado
By Bianca Fortis

Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), who promised that she would continue the work she has started in the 30th Council District if she is re-elected, had her wish granted by voters.

She will retain her seat as the City Councilwoman for the 30th District. She won 58.9 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press.

Crowley successfully defended the seat from her opponent, Republican Craig Caruana, who took home 41.4 percent, the AP said.

It was a hard-fought race. At the only debate between the two candidates, held early last week, audience members let loose a steady stream of cheers and jeers for the entire hour and a half.

The two battled on nearly ever hot button issue in the district, from a proposed homeless shelter in Glendale to plans to convert an abandoned glass factory into an arts and event center.

Both candidates spent Election Day stumping for votes throughout the district, which includes Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood and parts of Woodside and Woodhaven.

Crowley celebrated the victory at Woodhaven House in Rego Park and gave an impassioned speech during which she thanked her supporters.

“This has been a very long campaign, but the people of the 30th District have spoken tonight,” Crowley said. “And guess what? They want to send me back to City Hall. The people on this room — you guys have been the backbone of my campaign. It starts from when I was just a little girl and I looked up to my mother for sense of support.”

“We took the message of the accomplishments that we’ve had … whether it was building four new schools, creating over 5,000 classroom seats or saving the firehouses,” Crowley told the packed room. “We had so many fire officers out there flooding the district, carrying the message of how unfortunately our own mayor wanted to close fire companies.”

Crowley also gave a shoutout to the mayor-elect, Democrat Bill De Blasio, in her speech.

“The good thing about tonight is not only did we win here, but we won across the city,” she said. “And the next mayor’s not going to try to close the firehouses. Whether it’s investing in infrastructure projects in the district or making sure that we improve public transportation, a woman’s access to healthcare, there’s so much more work ahead of us. And I’m so grateful for the four years this district has given me to go back to City Hall to represent the people here.”

Crowley was first elected to the seat in 2008. She is chairwoman of the Fire & Criminal Justice Services Committee. Previously she worked as a restorative painter.

Caruana, who hails from Middle Village South, is a former intelligence analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence. He has also worked as an information specialist at the Fox News Channel. The candidate had garnered the support of Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota. Together they stumped for votes at O’Neill’s in Maspeth in October.

Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at bfortis@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.