When the Queens Democratic Party rolled out its endorsements this morning in Forest Hills, one notable demographic, African Americans, was left without a major candidate. Indeed, Queens’ black political establishment looked on with disappointment as their favored candidates for mayor, borough president and public advocate were passed over for rivals.
Congressman Joe Crowley, the party chair, endorsed Council Speaker Christine Quinn for mayor and former Councilwoman Melinda Katz for borough president. While a vast majority of district leaders voiced their approval, Elmer Blackburne and several other black district leaders dissented, indicating that instead they would support Bill Thompson, the former comptroller, who is also black. Ms. Quinn and Ms. Katz are white.
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The Queens County Democratic Party is expected to endorse Councilman Leroy Comrie for borough president next week, according to four sources plugged into various sides of the race.
The sources–some of whom were disappointed in the decision–told Politicker that Congressman Joe Crowley, the head of the borough’s Democratic organization, will probably endorse Mr. Comrie to balance his leadership position in one of the most demographically diverse counties in the country.
Former Councilwoman Melinda Katz raised $80,000 during the most recent filing period, placing her total at $489,313 raised thus far, her campaign for Queens borough president announced this morning.
“We’re in great shape going into our final push to hit the max by the July filing,” a campaign source wrote to Politicker in an email.
Red beret-wearing radio host and local television personality Curtis Sliwa stood behind billionaire John Catsimatidis as he announced his mayoral campaign yesterday. He confirmed to Politicker that Mr. Catsimatidis has his endorsement. Mr. Sliwa is the live-in boyfriend of Democratic Councilwoman Melinda Katz, so we wondered whether his backing of the Republican Mr. Castimatidis led to any debates at home.
“Oh yeah,” Mr. Sliwa said. “There’s a disagreement at home about everything. I have to be careful or I’ll be taking a timeshare on a park bench in Cunningham Park in Queens.”
Councilwoman Melinda Katz formally kicked off her campaign for Queens Borough President last night, and in attendance among the Democratic pols and donors was her boyfriend, Curtis Sliwa, the outspoken radio show host and television personality, dressed in his customary Guardian Angels uniform and red beret. Since he has a rather unique relationship with Ms. Katz, we thought to ask him about his role in her campaign.
“I’ve been assigned to do everything, which means I’m good at nothing. Which means, ‘Stay out of the way Curtis, don’t embarrass me in front of my fellow Democrats,’” he answered. “I would say, based on my many statements throughout the years about Democrats, I’ve had to be extraordinarily careful when, all of a sudden, I come eyeball-to-eyeball with someone who’s eye-fornicating me for something I’ve said for six years ago and I’ve got to suck it up, when normally I’d never suck it up. But for the good of the campaign, I’ve got to suck it up.”
king of queens
Former Councilwoman Melinda Katz is kicking off her campaign to replace term-limited Borough President Helen Marshall at Portofino Ristorante in Forest Hills tonight. Joining her will be none other than the man who leads the Queens Democratic Party, Congressman Joe Crowley. However, his presence at her party doesn’t necessarily imply Mr. Crowley is backing Ms. Katz in the crowded field.
Indeed, a reader passes along a kickoff event invitation for State Senator José Peralta’s campaign for Ms. Marshall’s job as well, which Mr. Crowley is also attending.
Mark Weprin once noted that his brother, David — who is now the Democratic Party’s nominee for the congressional seat vacated by Anthony Weiner — wasn’t “Mr. Personality.”
In fact, David Weprin’s first television ad for the comptroller race, he declared, proudly, “They say I’m not so exciting.”
But a review of Weprin’s campaign literature and ads from his 2009 bid to be the city’s next comptroller, and reveals a willingness to show a tougher, edgier side, if not some humor too.
It’s unclear when the special election for New York’s Ninth Congressional District will take place, but with each passing day, the list of prospective candidates for the vacant seat seems to grow.
There are a few factors to keep in mind when considering who makes sense for the seat, and who doesn’t.