By Bill Lewis
The Queens Village Republican Club recently had its annual Columbus Day dinner. Among the guest speakers was Joseph Concannon, a retired NYPD police captain who is running in a special election in the 23rd City Council district. He is on the ballot as the Republican, Conservative, and Reform Party candidate and facing the Democratic contender, Barry Grodenchik.
Since all the other city council races and citywide campaigns will be held in 2016, this is the only City Council seat open.
Scherie Murray, another Republican, is also running in a special election for state Assembly against Democrat Alicia Hyndman. She addressed the guests.
Although the election for mayor is two years away, candidates are starting to emerge. It would seem at this point that Mayor de Blasio may be in for a tough Democratic primary.
A Republican candidate who has announced his candidacy for mayor also attended the Queens Village Club dinner and spoke to the assembled gathering. He is the Rev. Michael Falkner. Falkner founded the New Horizon Church of New York in Harlem. He is also a former Jets football player in the NFL. Falkner spoke to the crowd about rebuilding the Republican Party.
It is becoming the norm in many parts of the United States for candidates for public office to begin their campaigns, especially fund-raising, several years before the election. That is particularly true for high public office.
The presidential primaries of 2016, which in all cases started at least two years before the general election, are quite unusual by American standards.
The Republican primary started with 17 candidates, although now we are down to 15. The Democratic Party started with Hillary Clinton, and it was assumed that she would be the only candidate.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders entered the race, however. Few people took him seriously at first, considering that he is an avowed Socialist. Nevertheless, he has waged a strong race, has drawn large crowds and has cut into Clinton’s poll lead in most places. Most of his supporters consider him a serious contender.
The contest in the House of Representatives among Republican congressmen for the lead position as speaker of the House is extremely important to how our federal legislation process proceeds during the next few years.
As I have indicated, 2016 will be one of the most important presidential elections in our nation’s history. A lot of pressing national issues will be decided in the coming years.
Hopefully, citizens will turn out and vote in addition to many people participating in political campaigns.