1999-06-11 / Front Page

State Senator To Become Judge

Waldon Books

Spurned in November by his Democratic party when he tried to win the congressional seat vacated by Floyd Flake, State Senator Al Waldon earned a Republican reward by being tabbed for a judgeship by Governor George Pataki.

After the Democratic machine supported Assemblyman Gregory Meeks in the congressional battle, Waldon distanced himself from Democrats as he ran as an Independent against Meeks and then supported Pataki in his gubernatorial race against Democratic challenger Peter Vallone.

Waldon, endorsed by The Wave in the congressional run, now seems to be a beneficiary of the successful re-election bid of Pataki. His judgeship nomination is expected to sail through the state senate chambers.

Waldon, a retired police officer, former member of congress (unseated by Floyd Flake), former assemblyman, and state senator will become a judge in the Court of Claims. The appointment is for a term expiring December, 2005.

So far, Waldon has not announced his support for a successor. While many Rockawayites have been eyeing the City Council seat to be vacated by Al Stabile, few had spoken of interest in Waldon’s job because it was assumed he’d keep the Albany position indefinitely. With the surprise announcement, it’s certain that a number of candidates will give the race a look----particularly because it will involve a special election with a relatively short campaign season----crucial to candidates with limited financial backing.

On the Democratic side, Audrey Pheffer’s chief of staff, Jo Ann Shapiro is almost certain to run, already having met with professional political consultants.

On the Republican side, John McLoughlin, currently with The Wave, said he’ll consider a run and believes the district is ripe for a republican. "The Senate is republican controlled. If the district wants someone to bring home the bacon, voters would be smart to elect a Republican."

Another possibility is Palmer Doyle. Some locals are hoping the President of the 100 Precinct Community Council throws his hat in the ring. The former president of the Rockaway Park Association helped Anthony Weiner win a congressional seat and has worked with a number of politicians regarding SROs, ferry service, and other matters.

Lew Simon, Democratic District Leader, is another one being pushed to run. According to spokesman Norman Silverman, Simon will first wait to see who declares before deciding to run himself.

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