2000-09-16 / Front Page

Keeping Their Jobs Weiner, Cummings Win Primary

By John C. McLoughlin

Keeping Their Jobs
Weiner, Cummings Win Primary

Two of Rockaway’s elected officials won’t be cleaning out their desks anytime soon. Both Congressman Anthony Weiner and State Assemblywoman Pauline Rhodd Cummings were the declared winners in last Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Weiner faced Brooklyn Councilman Noach Dear in the race for the 9th Congressional District. Although Dear was well-financed and campaigned throughout the district, Weiner won with a strong percentage of the vote. According to the Board of Elections, with 73 percent of the vote counted, Weiner received 23,790 votes to Dear’s 8,646 votes.

Several issues dominated this primary, including Weiner’s support for legislation that permits unlimited regional jets out of tri-state area airports and Dear’s pro-life platform.

Weiner was first elected to Congress in 1998 after Charles (Chuck) Schumer vacated that seat to run for the U.S. Senate against Al D’Amato. In a four-way Democratic primary, Weiner won with approximately 400 more votes than his closest opponent, Melinda Katz. Dear also ran in that primary, but came in fourth, losing by approximately 3,000 votes to Weiner.

Dear, who also has the support of the Republican and Conservative parties, will be on the ballot for this November’s election.

"Though the outcome was not what I had hoped I am proud of our campaign and the issues we raised," said Dear. "These are the same issues that we will carry to a full compliment of voters in November. I congratulate Anthony Weiner on his primary victory. Most importantly, I want to thank the many people from all faiths and walks of life who worked so hard in support of my candidacy. I am truly blessed for the many friendships I have made, friendships that will last far longer than any disappointment that I may feel now."

Repeated attempts to contact Weiner’s press secretary were unsuccessful.

Assemblywoman Cummings, who represents the 31st Assembly District, was challenged in the primary by two newcomers, Dr. Taj Rajkumar and Carol Howell.

A Far Rockaway resident and longtime activist, Cummings won a second term with 3,335 votes. Rajkumar received 1,090 votes and Howell received 777 votes.

"I thank the residents of the 31st Assembly District and Far Rockaway for allowing me to continue serving them," said Cummings. Referring to Rajkumar’s well-financed campaign, the assemblywoman said "money cannot buy elections."

Cummings pledged to continue fighting for more funds for schools, improved transportation and economic growth for the area. She plans to hold town hall meetings in the near future to hear the concerns of her constituents.



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