Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Halfway through her opening statements, Jane Deacy decided to stop and start over. She was off to a rough start making her case for the 23rd Assembly District in Queens, stumbling over her sentences, and, as she put it, rambling a bit. She recovered, going on to discuss her qualifications: former police officer and teacher, long-time resident, who will help rein in the excesses of Albany.
She finished. The host, Queens Courier publisher Vickie Schnapps, thanked her. “Thank you,” Deacy responded a little too loudly.
She and her Democratic opponent Phil Goldfeder sat in a Queens Public Television studio in Flushing. Six or so people were in the audience, mostly members of the candidates’ campaigns. A large screen behind the set displayed an American flag-homage graphic and the words “23rd Assembly District,” the seat the candidates are running for.
The debate—if you can call it that—was being taped for broadcast soon, and might be the one and only time voters get to measure the candidates up, side-by-side. Special elections are usually snoozefests, but this year’s batch of races for the Assembly have produced a few surprising contests. The race in the 23rd is one.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Let's take a quick look, shall we, at the State Board of Elections campaign filings.
In the race for the 27th Assembly District, Democrat Michael Simanowitz has brought in over $114,000 since the special election campaign started. His opponent, Republican Marco Desena, did not file the required 32-day filing (or it's just not up). On his July filing, Desena's campaign had raised $9,200.
Having out-raised his opponent by more than 10-to-1, the race for the 27th appears to be as easy a win for Simanowitz--the long-serving chief of staff to the assemblywoman whose resignation opened the door for his run--as expected.
The race for the 23rd Assembly District is a bit different. We're going to be covering the race again before the election, but it's worth noting the fundraising totals. Phil Goldfeder, the Democrat in the race, has over $107,000 on hand as of his latest filing. He's also spent almost $50,500. Jane Deacy,whose office opening we covered, has lent her campaign $10,000 and has almost $44,000 in the bank heading into the final month.
Saturday, August 06, 2011
Around the corner the last stop of the shuttle train that connects the western part of the Rockaway peninsula to the Manhattan-bound A train, in the middle of a strip of single floor store fronts, Republican volunteers and leaders from Brooklyn and Queens joined Jane Deacy this morning as she opened the doors of her campaign office for the 23rd Assembly District.
"Deacy wants to go to Albany," the candidate, whose name is pronounced like the nation's capitol, told about 40 supporters. Deacy is an energetic former police officer and school teacher, as well as the local Republican party leader. She's facing off against Phil Goldfeder, a former aide to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and US Senator Charles Schumer.
Deacy, like her Republican compatriot for congress, Bob Turner, has an uphill battle: her district is 2-to-1 Democrat. But that's not as bad as local City Council District 32, which is almost 3-to-1. Republican Eric Ulrich won there back in another special election in 2009, and went on to retain it in the general election in 2010.
Given this backdrop, Ulrich's success presents a possible road map for Deacy who talked about small-bore local issues--the threat closing of Peninsula Hospital posed to the seniors, the need for both jobs and security as the nearby Aqueduct Race Track racino looks to move forward--while imploring supporters to help her build an on-the-ground volunteer network throughout the district.
"I'm asking for you to tell 100 people, and for them to tell 100 people, and for them to tell 100 people," she said. "I'm also a real estate broker and I'll tell you this: the best customer you get is someone who comes as a referral. If you ask people to support me because they'll understand that you know the issues, and that you are involved."
If there's a path to victory, it will surely rely on the evolving special election expertise of those connected to Ulrich. He is the indisputable glue holding the local Republicans together, and a rising star in local politics. He casts Deacy as the straight-talking anti-insider--"a breath of fresh air." Multiple speakers compared Deacy's outsider status to the well-connected Goldfeder, who left Schumer's office to run the race for Assembly.
"Her honesty is going to resonate with the voters," Ulrich said. "She doesn't have all the answers and you're not going to agree with her 100 percent of the time but she's not there to blow any smoke."