Melinda Katz Scores 1199 Endorsement

Melinda Katz. (Photo: Katz campaign)
Melinda Katz. (Photo: Katz campaign)

Melinda Katz scored the endorsement of 1199 SEIU today, adding to her bevy of labor support in the race for Queens borough president.

Ms. Katz’s campaign touted the union’s endorsement–they represent more than 200,000 healthcare workers in the city, many black and Latino–as further evidence that crucial minority voters will back her and not her rival, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.  Continue reading “Melinda Katz Scores 1199 Endorsement”

Tony Avella Drops Out of Queens Borough President’s Race

Senator Avella (Photo: Facebook)
Senator Avella (Photo: Facebook)

In a surprise move, State Senator Tony Avella announced this afternoon he will drop out of the Queens borough president’s race, setting up a two-way slugfest between former Councilwoman Melinda Katz and Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.

“After much thought and consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the Queens Borough President race,” Mr. Avella said in a statement. “This was certainly not an easy decision and I am eternally grateful for the overwhelming amount of support I received from people throughout Queens.”  Continue reading “Tony Avella Drops Out of Queens Borough President’s Race”

Candidates Butt Heads in Queens Borough President Debate

The candidates facing off on NY1.
The candidates facing off on NY1.

The candidates for Queens borough president faced off in their first major televised debate earlier tonight on NY1, discussing the future of Willets Point, stop-and-frisk and the lasting controversy over term limits.

But the most heated moments came as the participants were invited to ask questions of one another near the end of the debate.

Continue reading “Candidates Butt Heads in Queens Borough President Debate”

Charges Fly in Race for Queens Borough President

Senator Avella (Photo: Facebook)
Senator Tony Avella (Photo: Facebook)

State Senator Tony Avella is accusing Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., a rival in the race for Queens borough president, of repeatedly “bullying” and “threatening” him in a push to get him to drop his bid.

“Personally, I think he’s a bully and a coward and afraid of having me on the ballot,” Mr. Avella told Politicker today, claiming Mr. Vallone has tried several times over the course of the election to get him to leave the race. “Let the chips fall where they may.” Continue reading “Charges Fly in Race for Queens Borough President”

Leroy Comrie Drops Queens Borough President Bid

comrie Leroy Comrie Drops Queens Borough President Bid
Councilman Leroy Comrie. (Photo: Facebook)

Councilman Leroy Comrie today announced an end to his bid for Queens borough president, citing “personal matters” as his reason for leaving the race.

“After careful consideration, my family and I believe, due to personal matters, this is the best course of action,” Mr. Comrie said in a statement. “I remain steadfast in my faith and belief in government and it is a true honor to continue to serve the people of Southeast Queens in my capacity as Councilman.” Continue reading “Leroy Comrie Drops Queens Borough President Bid”

Melinda Katz’s Endorsement Pile Keeps Growing

Melinda Katz. (photo:
Melinda Katz. (photo:

The Queens Democratic Party is famously unified, as their endorsement tends to come along with most of the county’s elected officials. For former Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s borough president campaign, which was backed by the Democratic organization last month, this has proven to be the case yet again–with a slew of new endorsements announced today.

Current Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez declared their support for the Katz campaign, along with former borough president candidate and State Senator  José Peralta, State Senator James Sanders, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook and  Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubrey.

Continue reading “Melinda Katz’s Endorsement Pile Keeps Growing”

Dissenting Council Members Spared Cuts in New Budget

Christine Quinn speaking at a paid sick leave rally. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Speaker Quinn. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has long been accused of using the Council’s budget as a tool to punish those who cross her and keep members in line. But, as member item allocations have come under increased scrutiny in light of the mayor’s race, Ms. Quinn appears to have changed course.

Sources familiar with the camps of three of Ms. Quinn’s most vocal critics in recent months told Politicker Tuesday that their member allocations–which fund local community non-profits, including senior centers and after-school programs–will either remain steady or tick up slightly, according to preliminary numbers shared with their offices this week.

Continue reading “Dissenting Council Members Spared Cuts in New Budget”