By Mark Hallum
Joe Concannon, an activist and former NYPD captain, formally announced he would challenge Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) once again for the District 23 seat at a Republican National Convention viewing party at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Glen Oaks.
Concannon, who is a Republican, spent 25 years with the NYPD before becoming the chief executive officer of Integris Security. He is also a U.S. Air Force veteran.
He is running to improve education, law enforcement and public transportation in the eastern Queens district and hopes to challenge the Democratic establishment in the city.
“Education is suffering under the current regime of Bill de Blasio, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Barry Grodenchik,” Concannon said. He cited several issues that have arisen in the past from lack of oversight, including funding for projects which do not happen as well as communities losing confidence in the effectiveness of the education their children are receiving.
According to Concannon, law enforcement in the city is suffering under the current administration and officers are under such close observation that they are not able execute their jobs properly.
“The people in this district, they pay a premium and there is no subway station that they can go to,” Concannon said. “They rely a lot on LIRR and the surface transport systems that are in place. They really need to be embellished, so there is more opportunity for people to take public transportation.”
This will be Concannon’s third run for the Council district. He ran against Mark Weprin in 2014 as an independent. When Weprin resigned to take a position in Albany, Concannon went up against Grodenchik as a Republican. This time, he is back as a Republican, but said he still carries an independent voice.
The election for the 23rd District will take place in November 2017.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall