Photo courtesy Rory Lancman
By Phil Corso

Two new faces earned a spot in the City Council this week, while two others who have already been representing northeast Queens held onto their seats.

Voters elected former state Assemblyman Rory Lancman to another job in public office, replacing term-limited Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), while Paul Vallone was chosen to replace outgoing Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone). Incumbent Councilmen Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) also coasted to victory Tuesday night, retaining their spots in office.

Lancman landed back into a government office Tuesday night after beating Republican Alexander Blishteyn and Values candidate Mujib U. Rahman with 73.7 percent of the vote, the Associated Press reported. The victory came one year after he vacated his Assembly seat, handing him the keys to the borough’s 24th Council District, which includes Flushing, Fresh Meadows and Jamaica.

In Flushing, Democratic incumbent Koo won a second term in the Council after beating three others vying for his 20th District seat. Unofficial results from the AP showed Koo on top of the four-way race with 79.6 percent of the vote, beating out Green Party candidate Evergreen Chou, Jobs & Education candidate Martha Flores-Vazquez and Republican Sunny Hahn.

Koo was first elected to the seat in 2009 as a Republican representing Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Mitchell Gardens, Auburndale and Whitestone. He switched parties in January 2012.

Weprin, the other incumbent who was looking to hold onto his northeast Queens seat, celebrated a commanding victory in Tuesday night’s vote, defeating Reform Party challenger Joseph Concannon.

Weprin had collected 84.1 percent of the vote, unofficial results from the AP showed, with Concannon receiving 15.9 percent.

The Oakland Gardens lawmaker and former assemblyman did not have an opponent in his bid for re-election until this past summer, when he took the lead on the Council’s opposition to the Police Department’s controversial stop-and-frisk policies. Concannon, a retired NYPD captain, threw his hat into the race soon after with hopes of defending the department and advocating for public safety in the northeast Queens district.

Weprin was first elected to the 23rd District in 2009, representing Hollis Hills, Queens Village, Glen Oaks, Floral Park and Oakland Gardens.

Vallone bested GOP-backed Dennis Saffran with more than 57 percent of the vote, according to unofficial AP results, marking the end of a hot race to replace Halloran. Back in April, Halloran was slapped with a federal indictment accusing him of using bribery to try and get state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) into the mayoral race as a Republican.

The win gave Vallone his spot in the previously red 19th Council District, which includes Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck and Whitestone.

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

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