Photos by Phil Corso
By Phil Corso

Candidates running for the state Assembly seat currently held by Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) in the 25th District have begun collecting endorsements as they take their messages to the public this week.

Democratic and Working Families candidate Nily Rozic received an endorsement Tuesday from the United Federation of Teachers, the same group that endorsed her former opponent and Independence Party candidate Jerry Iannece in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary. The two are joined on the ballot by Republican Abe Fuchs and Conservative Party candidate William Garifal Jr.

“Nily Rozic understands that working towards a brighter future starts in the classroom,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “I know she will fight in Albany to secure resources and promote policies that will strengthen New York’s public school system.”

Rozic said she was campaigning on improving vital services for women and seniors and also assuring that students receive adequate education while in high school.

“A lot of seniors are concerned about their benefits and protecting their safety nets,” Rozic, 27, said. “The same issues keep coming up in this district, and it is critical that people go out and vote in November.”

The newly drawn 25th District lines run from Flushing to Douglaston and include most of Bayside Hills. Lancman, who currently holds the seat, said he would not seek another term after he was defeated in a Democratic primary run for Congress by Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing).

Rozic, a Community Board 8 member from Fresh Meadows, formerly served as chief of staff for Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan) and won her first election in the September Democratic Primary.

Her Republican opponent Abe Fuchs said he based his campaign on education reform. While speaking to voters at a meeting of the Queensborough Hill Neighborhood Association last week in Flushing, Fuchs pushed for a greater focus on religious training for students and vocational schools to help match students to their skills.

“We have a lot to do about the public school system. We need to improve our scores and be less complacent about our crisis in education,” Fuchs said. “I believe in competition in education and tax credits for people who send their kids to private schools and vouchers for public schools.”

Fuchs, a 56-year-old retired postal worker from Kew Gardens, attended Jewish day school at Mesivta High School of Forest Hills. He spent three years at a rabbinical seminary after high school and also studied at Empire State College before he said a course in American government led to his dropping out after one year.

Iannece, 53, who remained on the ballot as an Independence candidate after losing to Rozic in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary, said he was unsure if he would actively campaign for the Assembly seat after all. Both he and Garifal were invited to speak at the Queensborough Hill meeting last week along with Rozic and Fuchs, but did not attend.

Iannece had campaigned on bringing his experience to Albany after spending more than a decade as president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association and chairman of CB 11.

Garifal, a 42-year-old Internet marketer and the Conservative candidate, ran unopposed in a Conservative primary and has campaigned for lower taxes and fiscal responsibility.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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