By William Lewis
The Queens Village Republican Club recently held its annual club dinner. It is estimated it had more than 200 guests, which is a lot for a club function.
There was a series of speeches and awards given out, such as the Outstanding Service Award, given to former club President Phil Sica; the Veteran of the Year Award, given to John Peterkin; and the American and Patriot of the Year Award, given to Daniel Bongino. There was also a Lifetime Achievement Award given to James Trent.
The guest speaker was U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Massapequa Park), who is apparently running for president in 2016. He has served more than 20 years in the House of Representatives. He is a member of the Homeland Security Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.
King has been a leader in the fight against terrorism at home and abroad. He is known for his support of our military, including getting veteran benefits.
During King’s presentation, he spoke about getting rid of Obamacare, backing our military and combating terrorism.
He also spoke about his opposition to higher taxes and support for our local police. Like other speakers during the event, he mentioned the low voter turnout in the 2013 city elections. He hoped for a higher vote total in the future.
He referred to his campaign as one based on principles.
It seems that presidential campaigns, held every four years, begin earlier and earlier. This trend began with Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1974. After serving four years as governor of Georgia, he campaigned for president from 1974-76. He initiated a two-year campaign and would be elected in 1976.
Now we have a three-year campaign with King beginning his race three years before the actual election. It will be interesting to see if other potential candidates enter the race early. It is a situation of constant campaigning for president.
If we compare this system with the United Kingdom, the political campaign that leads to the selection of the prime minister is by law only three weeks. This is quite a major difference between our two countries.
Pertaining to the Queens Village dinner, the Republican Party in Queens is showing a lot of enthusiasm. We will see how that affects the Queens political races of 2014.
In the 25th state Assembly District, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) has served for the last two years. There is a possibility that Jerry Iannece may run against her in a Democratic primary this year. There seems to be various groups urging him to run.
As an attorney, Iannece has been active in this area for a long time. He served for several terms as chairman of Community Board 11 and before that he was president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association. He thinks that among his achievements is the Oakland Ravine Project, which solved a major flooding problem in Bayside.
Iannece is given credit for spearheading low density community areas in northeast Queens. He has also worked on getting more police for the 111th Precinct.
There is also another candidate who may enter the Democratic primary in the 25th District: Abe Fuchs. He ran in that election two years ago as a Republican. This year, if he runs, it will be as a Democrat in the primary.
When he ran last time he spoke about improving educational standards in our public schools. In all, the 25th District should prove to be an interesting race.
It is hoped and expected that 2014 will bring a larger voter turnout in the city than in 2013, with its 24 percent of registered voters going to the polls.
We expect to see some hard-fought races in Queens this year.