By Mark Hallum
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) pulled out a victory over Republican challenger Tom Sullivan in the Nov. 6 midterm election and will serve a fifth term in Albany.
Addabbo, who served seven years in City Council before being elected to the legislature, came out ahead of Sullivan, taking 60.7 percent of the vote with 96.46 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results from the city Board of Elections.
“I’m just always pleased when people of the district put their faith in me, I appreciate it and I love what I do,” Addabbo said at his victory party at the Old Mill Yacht Club in Howard Beach. “Given today, I think early voting. You saw the lines today – on a rainy day – we could have really used early voting.”
In this election cycle, Addabbo touted having passed more bills over the last year than he ever has during his time in the Senate with one mandating that fees levied from a new Down’s Syndrome license plate will go toward medical research being signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Sullivan is career soldier, having served 25 years in the U.S. Army Reserves and holding the rank of colonel, while also working in the financial services industry.
During the campaign Sullivan, a Middle Village resident, said he would use his experience as a doer to address issues such as public transit across the city.
At an October Juniper Park Civic Association meeting, Sullivan said he would hold contractors accountable to finish work to upgrade the severely aged infrastructure of the subways on time and enforce penalties if they default.
The MTA is currently looking at costs of up to $60 million to modernize the subways.
Addabbo claimed at the meeting that he has worked to move along the Penelope Avenue sewer project, stalled for years due to lead in the soil, as well as fighting to keep the communities in his district from being overburdened with homeless shelters.
Addabbo has fought with city agencies to prevent more homeless shelters from being placed in his district, which spans Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Glendale and Woodhaven.
Sullivan also campaigned on fighting overdevelopment in Queens by opposing property tax increases, which he claims forces people to relocate. He also said he would be a voice against Cuomo’s plan to provide free college classes to students who commit to stay in New York for an equal amount of time they were in school following graduation.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall