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Schumer’s rally for Queens City Council candidate called off due to protester’s threat

A Felicia Singh rally with Senator Chuck Schumer was canceled in Belle Harbor Sunday, Oct. 31, after a protestor allegedly made threats on the Rockaway Boardwalk. (Photos courtesy of Singh and Ariola campaigns)

Senate Majority Leader Charles “Chuck” Schumer endorsed Felicia Singh in Belle Harbor on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 31 — but his appearance at a rally on the Rockaway Boardwalk at Beach 125th Street was canceled over security concerns.

Singh is locked in a contentious battle with Republican Joann Ariola to replace term-limited Councilman Eric Ulrich to represent District 32, the last Republican-held seat in Queens.

“I represented this district for years and I know what it needs,” Schumer said. “Felicia will be just an outstanding representative. She was raised here. She knows what the community is like. She cares about the community and she has the idealism and the strength and the dedication and the energy to represent this district better than anybody has in a very long time.”

Singh, a lifelong resident of Ozone Park and school teacher, has become a focal point for the progressive movement in Queens, as waves of supporters canvas on her behalf to try to “flip the last Republican district in Queens blue.”

Ariola, the Queens GOP chairwoman and Howard Beach civic leader, has already received endorsements from the Police Benevolent Association, Detectives Endowment Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association and the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, among other uniformed officers unions.

Schumer left Belle Harbor before the rally after his security team deemed it unsafe, according to Singh.

“We were met with aggressive and hostile Joann supporters. They harassed and threatened our safety,” Singh wrote on Twitter. “One of the [protesters] was heard saying he wished he had a gun and that all Democrats should be shot. In taking our community’s safety seriously, we asked our supporters to go somewhere safer and de-escalate the situation.”

The Ariola campaign dismissed the alleged confrontation Monday morning.

“Other than some tweets, we have no knowledge that any such thing happened, but it has nothing to do with our campaign in any case and we certainly do not condone threats of violence from anyone, in any party,” Ariola’s campaign spokesman Kevin Ryan said. “In fact, Joann Ariola is the only candidate in the race who thinks that violent criminals belong in jail, not in halfway houses in our neighborhoods. That’s why she’s the only one endorsed by all New York law enforcement unions and local elected officials in the district.”

Ariola has been endorsed by Ulrich in the race to replace him on the City Council.

“It’s disappointing and not surprising that my opponent is denying the rally yesterday had anything to do with her campaign — despite the Ariola signs — and downplaying a security threat to a Democratic Senator,” Singh said Monday afternoon. “Look around the country and you can see the impact of violent and irresponsible Republican rhetoric. This is a candidate who repeatedly lies, including the lie that no one in the district has endorsed me. Anyone she deems irrelevant to her simply doesn’t count. She did the same thing at one of the few debates she showed up for when she claimed the people who were supporting me there don’t live in the district. This is what is dangerous: the flagrant erasure of people and denial of truths which leads to harmful policy.”

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