By Mark Hallum
Tony’s Beechhurst Delicatessen in Whitestone was the scene of another endorsement for Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), who accepted support from U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Huntington) and the Italian American Political Action Committee for his re-election.
Vallone has picked up endorsements from teachers unions and organizations representing workers as well as the Queens County Democratic Party and U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights). Suozzi, elected to his first term in November after the retirement of Steve Israel, said Vallone had been instrumental in his winning the seat that represents Nassau and Suffolk counties along with parts of northeast Queens.
“When I first ran for Congress to represent Queens, Paul was an invaluable resource. He knows the people of Queens, what they care about, what they need and what we can do as their elected representatives to help them and their families,” Suozzi said. “Paul Vallone shares Queens’ values; he is honest and hardworking, just like Queens. We need to keep Paul on the City Council so he can continue working for us.”
Vallone said the endorsement from the IAPAC is important to him because of the strong Italian heritage he shares with the organization as well as Suozzi, whose father was an Italian immigrant and prominent Glen Cove judge.
“Northeast Queens is home to so many unique and wonderful heritages and the Italian-American community stands strongly among them,” said Vallone. “I am proud of my Italian roots and I am especially proud to earn this meaningful endorsement as I seek re-election to continue representing the families of northeast Queens.”
Suozzi operates an office in Little Neck as part of his campaign promise to show his constituents in the city support by establishing a base along Northern Boulevard.
A week earlier, the Working Families Party and New York City Central Labor Council both handed their support to Vallone, who will again be facing a 2013 Democratic primary opponent, Paul Graziano, a land use expert and community activist well-known within the northeast Queens district.
The United Federation of Teachers endorsed Vallone’s re-election campaign in June for his contributions to schools and libraries in the community.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall