Photo by Michael Shain
Democrat Stacey Pheffer Amato is running for assembly in District 23.
By Gina Martinez

Democratic candidate Stacey Pheffer Amato is the new assemblywoman for Queens’ 23rd District, which covers the Rockaways, Ozone Park and Howard Beach.

Amato won in a landslide with 67 percent of the vote. She will take over for Assemblyman Philip Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park), who stepped down to focus on his family. Amato ran against Republican candidate Alan Zwirn, a fellow Rockaway resident and president of the Rockaway Republican Club, who got 33 percent, according to unofficial results from NY1.com.

Amato is a lifelong Rockaway resident who worked with the community to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy. She is also the daughter of former Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer.

“I am extremely grateful to the voters of southern Queens and Rockaway for electing me the next state Assembly member in the 23rd District,” Amato said in a statement. “Our families demand a lot from their elected officials. We have been lucky to have truly dedicated public servants who have been instrumental in our recovery from Sandy and who have been strong voices in City Hall and in Albany. I am humbled by the community’s faith in me to continue this important work and I intend to be a strong advocate for our families. I would like to commend my opponent for his spirited and hard-fought campaign.”

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Flushing) will serve a third term representing the 25th District after a landslide win over Republican Usman Ali Chohan, a St. John’s University freshman who campaigned on education. Rozic won with 76 percent of the vote. Her campaign focused on quality-of-life issues in Bayside, Douglaston and Fresh Meadows as well as Flushing. Her rival claimed 33 percent of the vote.

“I’ve been really focused on improving our schools,” she said, “making sure they have the resources with investment in education through the state budget. We’ve increased the minimum wage and passed the historic new paid family leave law. I’ve always worked hard for the families that I represent and I look forward to doing it for four more years.”

Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) beat Republican businessman Ira Harris with 82.5 percent of the vote, while Harris had 17.5. He said his constituents in District 24 frequently come to him with quality-of-life complaints.

“There are a lot of quality-of-life issues we deal with on a regular basis,” he said. “We have two storefront offices, one off of Union Turnpike, and one in Richmond Hill. We constantly get people walking in off the street and help them deal with issues. People have water and sewer problems, traffic conditions in certain streets aren’t up to par, we get street lights, stop signs safety concerns.”

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) will serve his third term after a landslide win against Republican opponent Miriam Rodriguez, who got 24.8 percent. Kim won with 75.2 percent of the vote and will continue to represent New York’s 40th District, which covers areas of Flushing, Queensboro Hill and Murray Hill. Kim’s campaign focused on helping small businesses.

“I represent the most number of mom-and-pop business in the state,” he said “These small businesses generate so much revenue for the city and state, but they are ignored. New York City ranks at the bottom of the list in the country for being pro small business. Sooner or later we’re going to lose these mom-and-pops and we’re going to suffer. We need to reverse this trend.”

Assemblyman Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven) will serve another term after winning 80.4 percent of the vote. Miller faced Republican Joseph Maldonado, who garnered 19.6 percent, to represent the 38th District, covering areas of Woodhaven, Glendale and Ridgewood.

In other races, Democrat Clyde Vanel will fill the seat vacated by Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens Village), who died earlier this year, and newcomer Brian Barnwell took the spot held by Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth), whom he defeated in the Democratic primary.

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmartinez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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