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GOP hopeful to challenge Maloney

By Alex Robinson

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) will likely face a first-time Republican challenger in the general election this fall.

Nick Di Iorio, 27, filed petitions last week to run against Maloney in District 12, which includes most of Astoria and Long Island City, as well as parts of Sunnyside and Manhattan. In 2012, the redistricting process altered the district so that it gained parts of Brooklyn, but no longer included a part of Astoria north of Ditmars Boulevard.

Di Iorio, who will also be running under the Conservative Party banner, worked as a financial contractor for pharmaceutical company Pfizer for four years before deciding to try his hand in the political arena. The first-time candidate grew up in Rhode Island before moving to New York City in 2010 to work for Pfizer and receive his master’s in philosophy at Fordham University.

Some of Di Iorio’s policy positions include supporting charter schools, cutting corporate taxes and raising weekly unemployment benefits. He also advocates changes to the U.S. Affordable Care Act, which include deregulating the health insurance exchanges by allowing insurance companies to sell plans across state lines, and increasing subsidies to low-income families rather than expanding Medicaid.

As of Wednesday, the city Board of Elections had not released an official list of candidates, but Di Iorio’s petitions to get on the ballot had not been challenged. No other candidates filed petitions with the BOE to run with the Republican and Conservative parties.

Maloney, 68, was first elected to Congress in 1992 and in past campaigns has supported LGBT rights, the Dream Act and stronger gun control. She is also well-known for championing women’s rights, having been the first woman to represent her district in New York state and the first chairwoman of the Joint Economic Committee of the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

She was also a sponsor of the Zadroga Act, a law which provides funding for 9/11 first responders who were sickened by breathing in toxins at Ground Zero.

Her office said her legislative priorities for the upcoming congressional session include fighting for tougher gun laws, passing legislation to end human trafficking and securing increased funding for infrastructure, education and affordable housing.

Maloney will not face a challenger in the Democratic primary this summer.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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