By Patrick Donachie
Queens Democrats will head to the polls Tuesday for primary elections to determine the candidates who will face off against Republican opponents in this November’s general election.
Five candidates are competing in the Democratic primary in the 3rd Congressional District to succeed U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Melville), who announced his retirement in January. Attorney Jonathan Clarke, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern and former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi are all running to face Republican Jack Martins.
The 3rd District includes parts of Bay Terrace, Little Neck, Glen Oaks, Floral Park and Whitestone as well as sections of Nassau and Suffolk counties in Long Island. During the campaign northeast Queens voters expressed concern about airplane noise from the LaGuardia flight paths and the need for better, affordable transit options to the candidates in the race.
In District 5, which includes parts of Jamaica, South Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village and the Rockaways, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) is in the midst of a primary challenge from Ali Mirza, a small businessman who is running on a platform decrying corruption in Washington and proclaiming progressive bona fides. The winner will face Republican challenger Michael O’Reilly, an attorney and a 2015 candidate for judge in New York City Civil Court.
U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn) will face off against Jeffrey M. Kurzon, who also challenged her in 2014, and Yungman Lee, a banking executive, in a primary for District 7, which includes parts of Maspeth, Ridgewood, Woodhaven and Ozone Park, as well as areas in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In District 12, which includes parts of Astoria, Long Island City and Woodside, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) will face challenger Peter Lindner.
Additionally, Reform Party voters in six districts will be able to write in the name of a candidate to be on the ballot in the general election, according to the city Campaign Finance Board site.
The primaries are closed, so voters must be registered as Democrats to cast a ballot. You can check your enrollment status on the New York State Board of Elections website.
Polls in New York City will open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. To determine your polling location, you can search by your address at nyc.polls
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona