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Queens sends five U.S. reps back to Congress

By Juan Soto

There were no surprises on Election Night in Queens as voters returned five U.S. representatives to the House.

Incumbents easily fought off their challengers, and only the race between Steve Israel (D-Melville) and Republican Grant Lally was somewhat close. It was not a good night for Democrats nationwide, but New York seemed to be an exception.

Unofficial results from the state Board of Elections gave Israel about 52 percent of the vote, compared to his opponent’s 43 percent. The congressman banked 85, 310 votes, while Lally, who mounted a decent challenge, captured 71,212 ballots.

Israel’s congressional district represents Bay Terrace, Whitestone, Dougalston, Little Neck and parts of Bellerose as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties.

In the Queens section, the incumbent also came out on top. He rolled in 11,437 votes (58 percent), while Lally, who promised to open an office in Queens if he was elected, got 6,957.

“I voted for Israel. I know him,” said Mark Oberst, a Bay Terrace resident. “It shouldn’t be close, but in elections you never know.”

Israel, who is chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, won an eighth term in office.

“I am proud of my fight for middle-class tax relief, equal pay for women, and to protect Social Security and Medicare,” the congressman said. “I want to thank New Yorkers for giving me the opportunity to continue this work.”

He pointed out that “serving as your representative in Washington is a tremendous honor, and I look forward to continuing to be your voice for our community and our values.”

In southeast Queens, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) won re-election in a landslide. Meeks received 72,454 votes, while his independent challenger, Allan Steinhardt, got 3,618 votes, according to unofficial results.

Meeks was first elected to Congress in a special election in 1998.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) was also re-elected by a wide margin. The veteran congresswoman, who will serve her 12th term in office, retained her seat with about 77 percent of the votes, according to the unofficial results by the Board of Elections.

“I sincerely thank the people of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens who have given me another opportunity to help address the pressing problems our city, state and nation continue to face,” said Maloney, who obtained 83,870 votes to Republican challenger Nicholas Di Lorio’s 21,160.

“The challenges are great and the priorities are many,” she said. “I am hopeful that the next two years in Washington will not be a repeat of the past two.”

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) retained his seat in Congress, with 47,370 ballots. The vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus beat his Republican challenger Elizabeth Perri, who had 6,318 votes, according to the Board of Elections, for his eighth term in office.

“Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve fought for the American Dream, the idea that every American deserves the opportunity to make life better for themselves and their families,” Crowley said.

He added, “Now more than ever, that dream hangs in the balance, threatening middle-class families, workers, and the most vulnerable amongst us, including seniors and children.”

It was also an easy ride for U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn), who drew 53, 283 votes, or more than 73 percent. In the three-way race, she beat Republican José Luís Fernández, who got 5,299 votes, and Conservative Allan Romaguera, who obtained 1,289. Velázquez’s districts covers parts of Maspeth, Ridgewood and Woodhaven in Queens.

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn) had also a good ElectionDay. He captured, according to the state Board of Elections, 71,280 votes, while Conservative Alan Bellone got 6,286.

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