By Gina Martinez
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has come out in support of five Democratic candidates for City Council from his home borough in the upcoming September primaries.
The governor, usually restrained about making political endorsements, backed Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing), Elizabeth Crowley (D-Maspeth) and Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) for re-election, Adrienne Adams to replace Ruben Wills in Jamaica, and Francisco Moya to take over after Councilwoman Julissa Copeland-Ferraras (D-Corona) decided not to seek re-election. He has not publicly endorsed candidates running in any other borough or the mayoral race.
Koo is running against Alison Tan, the managing director of Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, CB 7 board member and wife of state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing). Cuomo said he has worked with Koo since his time as president of the Flushing Chinese Business Association.
“Now more than ever, we need local leaders who fight for their communities on the issues that matter,” Cuomo said. “From fighting for affordable housing and against pollution in local waterways, Council member Koo works hard to ensure the interests of his community are represented at the City Council.”
Cuomo is backing Moya to represent District 21 in the City Council. Moya is in a heated race against the former Councilman and state Sen. Hiram Monserrate, who was forced to leave politics following a felony conviction for stealing money from a non-profit in his district to finance an election campaign. Cuomo said Moya is a proven leader for Central Queens and that his opponent’s actions have disqualified him from public service.
“From partnering with me to pass a $15 minimum wage, stronger rent laws and immigrant protections, as well as the Women’s Equality Act and critically important criminal justice reforms, Assemblyman Moya has worked to move New York forward,” Cuomo said. “Contrasted with Hiram Monserrate’s shameful record of domestic violence and abusing the public trust, the choice could not be more clear. I’m proud to endorse Francisco Moya for City Council in the 21st District and I know he will continue to be a true champion of Democratic values.”
Cuomo is also supporting Adrienne Adams to represent District 28, where Ruben Wills was recently convicted of state corruption charges and forced to give up his Council seat. Adams is chairwoman of CB12 and has worked with Cuomo on his $10 million Downtown Jamaica Revitalization Initiative. Adams is running against public defender Hettie Powell and public sector worker Richard David.
“Public service begins at the local level, working to address the concerns of residents and build a stronger community,” Cuomo said. “This is what sets Adrienne Adams apart as a leader in her community and as a candidate for City Council.”
Cuomo has also thrown his support behind Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), who is running against Juniper Park Civic Association President Bob Holden. Cuomo said that Crowley has fought for Queens families for over a decade.
“She has fought and secured education funding so that public schoolchildren are guaranteed a better, brighter future,” the governor said. “She has prevented the closure of local firehouses and stood up for New York’s Bravest in their times of need. Most of all, Elizabeth has served as mentor and inspiration to countless women and aspiring officeholders across the city through her work to ensure local government reflects all the voices of the community. I know that, with four more years, Elizabeth Crowley will continue to deliver for the 30th District, and I’m proud to endorse her candidacy.”
Cuomo has backed Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) in the September primaries as well. He is running against Bayside activist Paul Graziano. Cuomo said the families of northeast Queens deserve a council member they can be proud of and one who can be counted on to represent their values, keep delivering their fair share and lead by example.
“Council member Vallone has led the fight to increase programming for our senior population and his ability to successfully advocate for his constituents has resulted in countless improvements for our public safety, parks and schools. There is no question that he is the right choice for Council member,” he said. “With four more years, Paul Vallone will continue to unite northeast Queens, and I’m proud to endorse his candidacy in the district I used to call home.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart