Crowley trounces Holden in race expected to be close

Crowley trounces Holden in race expected to be close
Photo by Bill Parry
By Bill Parry

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) breezed into a crowded room at the Woodhaven House Tuesday night to celebrate her victory against Robert Holden in the Democratic primary and will go forward as her party’s nominee in the November election.

Crowley threw up her arms and shouted, “We did it!”

She is seeking a third term representing District 30, which covers Maspeth, Middle Village Ridgewood and Glendale.

Crowley ran a well-financed campaign that captured high-profile endorsements from labor, city leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Holden ran a grass-roots campaign with 70 volunteers from the garage behind his Maspeth home.

With 99.07 percent of the vote counted, Crowley was the clear victor with 63.8 percent to 36.2 percent for Holden, according to unofficial results reported by NY1.

One longtime Middle Village political observer had warned that the campaign would be like the Hatfields and the McCoys. Neither candidate rejected the analogy during separate interviews with TimesLedger Newspapers.

Crowley called Holden dysfunctional and delusional, while Holden said Crowley was lacking in representation and competence. The two hammered away at each other during several debates and forums.

“It’s been a long couple of weeks and we worked really hard — we earned this,” Crowley told her crowd of supporters. “Too many lies were spread, but you guys were out there and spoke the truth about me.”

Her cousin, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), who has taken a fair amount of criticism from Holden over the years as the chairman of the Queens County Democratic organization, called it “a big friggin’ win” before slamming Holden and his surrogates.

“I’m grateful the overwhelming number of Democrats in this district did not buy the lies that were told about her to malign her record,” he said. “The electorate saw through it all and knew you were a person of integrity.”

But Holden was the first to call foul when Elizabeth Crowley’s campaign sent out campaign fliers depicting Holden, the longtime president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, as a Republican supporter, and featuring a photo of him accepting a lifetime achievement award in March at the Queens Village Republican Club’s annual Lincoln’s Dinner.

“What’s a good Democrat, one that hates Republicans?” Holden said. “Don’t we have enough of that in this country? I think you work with both parties. I can work with anyone who is pro-community. She’s gone to the extreme left and I’m a moderate Democrat, conservative on some things and progressive on others. I was never a part of a political club being labeled a Democrat or Republican. I’m a civic guy, a community guy. You have to work with both parties for the good of the community.”

And Holden is now counting on those cross-party relationships in November when he will appear on three party lines — Conservative, Reform and Dump de Blasio — in the general election.

“I have so many people in the neighborhood who come up to and tell me, ‘Bob, I’m a Republican and you’re the first Democrat I’m ever going to vote for,’” Holden said.

On his campaign Facebook page he wrote “every registered voter” will have the opportunity to cast their ballot for him. Crowley seemed to have this in mind when she closed out her victory speech.

“Now we have to make sure we win again in November,” she said.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.