Rego Park resident to challenge Joseph Addabbo

By Sarina Trangle

Queens Republicans announced a Rego Park resident will assume the candidacy left vacant when former City Councilman Thomas Ognibene opted not to run for state Senate.

Michael Conigliaro filed substitution paperwork to run on the GOP and Conservative lines against state Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), the city Board of Elections.

Conigliaro could not be reached for comment, but his campaign released a statement saying Conigliaro was compelled to step off the sidelines and stop complaining about the status quo.

“My campaign will focus on the issues that are important to the forgotten middle class: creating jobs, cutting taxes and making sure that the next generation has an even better shot at life,” Conigliaro said in a press release. “I’m running for state Senate because I want to change things for the better.”

His campaign did not respond to inquiries about which real estate law firm he managed, whether he was involved with any political clubs or who he planned to tap for campaign contributions. Conigliaro is not admitted to the bar.

There does not appear to be a campaign committee registered in his name, according to the state Board of Elections website.

Addabbo has $52,719.22 in his campaign coffers, according to BOE filings.

Despite Conigliaro’s low profile, several GOP operatives touted his candidacy in the 15th Senate District, which encompasses most of the Rockaway Peninsula, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens.

The party sent out a press release describing Conigliaro as a Rego Park resident who manages a real estate law firm, attends Our Lady of Mercy Church in Forest Hills and serves as president of the Queensborough Community College Alumni Association.

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), Queens Conservative Party Chairman Thomas Long, Senate Majority Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner praised Conigliaro’s move.

“Communities, like mine, that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy need a strong voice in the state Senate fighting for them,” Turner said in a press release. “Mike Conigliaro is not a career politician. We can count on him to roll up his sleeves and get the job done.”

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at stran‌gle@c‌ngloc‌al.com.

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