Community Board 12 chair gets on the ballot – and two big endorsements – to succeed ousted Queens Councilman

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Photo courtesy of Assemblyman Ron Kim’s office

Adrienne Adams is now in the race to succeed expelled City Councilman Ruben Wills, and the Community Board 12 chairperson immediately got a boost from two prominent Queens Democrats — including the head of the county’s party.

Adams formally announced her candidacy on July 27, a week after Wills was convicted of public corruption charges and subsequently booted from office. Wills had been planning to seek re-election to the 28th Council District seat he once held, and was slated to face two Democratic challengers: community activist Richard David and attorney Hettie Powell.

Now the race takes another twist with Adams’ sudden entry; she had unsuccessfully challenged state Senator James Sanders Jr. in last year’s Democratic primary. In announcing her City Council candidacy on July 27, she also touted the endorsement of Congressman Gregory Meeks, who represents much of the 28th Council District, and Congressman Joe Crowley, the chairperson of the Queens County Democratic Party.

“As I campaign to represent the people of the 28th Council District, I am proud to have the support of Congress Members Crowley and Meeks, and look forward to partnering with them and my many friends in the City Council to improve economic opportunity, transportation options and overall quality of life in Rochdale, Jamaica, Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park,” Adams said.

The Democratic primary is on Sept. 12, a little more than seven weeks away, and the petitioning process to get on the ballot ended some time ago. A source familiar with the situation told QNS that the Queens County Democratic Party selected Adams to fill the primary ballot slot which Wills had vacated following his conviction. Under party regulations, a “committee on vacancies” is convened whenever a candidate on the ballot suddenly drops out following the petitioning process. However, this does not constitute a party endorsement of the candidate chosen to fill the vacant slot, as individual party members may endorse the candidate of their choice on their own.

Adams was elected as Board 12 chairperson in 2013. She described herself as having “a pivotal role in shaping the district’s priorities for city budget funding, advocating passionately for constituents seeking improved public services and skillfully guiding reviews of development and zoning proposals.”

“The people of Queens deserve honest representation and a City Council member who will fight tirelessly for the best interests of the community,” Crowley said. “Adrienne Adams has proven time and again that she knows what this community needs and how to build the conditions necessary to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

Along with being short on campaign time, Adams is presently short on campaign cash, according to the city’s Campaign Finance Bureau’s Follow the Money database, which tracks the campaign contributions and expenditures for every public office candidate in the city. Adams currently has just over $10,000 in campaign account. The most recent donation she received was on May 16.

Meanwhile, David — who declared his candidacy months ago — has a little more than $40,000 in reported campaign funds, with the most recent donation filed on July 11. Powell also announced her campaign months ago and has more than $50,000 in the till, although her campaign website is down and her Twitter account was last active in 2014.

When contacted by QNS, David declined to comment on Adams’ entry in the race.