In what may have been the most bitter primary race in Queens this year, incumbent Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley secured her party’s nomination for the 30th Council District by beating Middle Village civic leader Robert Holden in the Democratic primary.
Though Crowley won the battle, the contest won’t end until the November general election because Holden vowed to continue his campaign on the Conservative and Reform party lines.
Crowley was able to amass 63.8 percent of the votes (3,496 votes) to Holden’s 36.2 percent (1,986 votes) with 99.1 percent of precincts reporting in by 8:52 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13, according to WNYC.
Supporters, family, friends and fellow Democratic elected officials filled the Woodhaven House restaurant to watch the results roll in and celebrate Crowley’s victory.
Joining Crowley was Assemblyman Mike Miller, state Senator Joseph Addabbo, Council members Jimmy Van Bramer and Karen Koslowitz, and Congressman Joseph Crowley — Elizabeth’s cousin and chair of Queens County Democratic Party.
“What a big friggin’ win,” Crowley exclaimed in support of his cousin. “It’s a big victory tonight for Elizabeth. Overall, I think Queens County Dems sent a strong message that what we’re about is integrity, and honor, and dignity.”
In her victory speech Crowley mentioned the contentious nature of this primary campaign, and thanked her supporters and staff for standing by her side.
“Too many lies were spread … and you guys were out there,” Crowley said. “You guys spoke the truth.”
Although this was a big win for Crowley, she knows she still has a lot of work ahead of her since her Democratic opponent will be facing off against her in November’s general election on both the Conservative and Reform party lines.
“The victory is ours to share,” Crowley told those in attendance. “It’s not over yet, unfortunately. We gotta to make sure we win again in November.”
That’s when Holden expects to make his biggest challenge to Crowley. On Tuesday night, the Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA) president said that this Democratic primary was “a free foul shot,” and that he is certainly still “alive and well” in the race.
Holden said that he knew going into the primary that he would not be able to access his base of voters, since many are not registered Democrats.
“A lot of my base came up to me and said they couldn’t vote,” Holden said from his campaign headquarters — which is in the garage of his Middle Village home. “They were either blanks, or Republicans, or Independents … I was up against the machine … I think my strength will be all the voters of the district.”
Holden vowed to use this primary as experience in moving forward toward the general election. He said he now knows where he did not perform well and will make changes to visit the people of Woodside and Ridgewood who may not know him, as well as the people of Middle Village and Maspeth.
“If she rests on this, she may be shocked in the fall when people actually come out, and more people come out and actually vote,” Holden said. “And not just one segment — party labels — all the parties can vote in November, and that’s my strength.”