2000-11-25 / Front Page

Pheffer Enters Boro Prez Race By John C. McLoughlin

Pheffer Enters Boro Prez Race
By John C. McLoughlin

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Rockaway’s representative in the state legislature for more than 15 years, announced earlier this week that she will seek the borough presidency of Queens in next year’s election.

Pheffer, who was first elected to the State Assembly in 1984, would replace Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, who is unable to run again because of term limits.

"I put my hat in the ring," Pheffer said. "I told county leader Tom Manton and some of my colleagues. Once I file my papers, which will probably be right after Thanksgiving, it will be more formal. Hopefully we’ll get the county’s endorsement and run on the Democratic line."

Pheffer is just one of many that are interested in the position, including fellow Democrats Karen Koslowitz, Sheldon Leffler, and Helen Marshall, all members of the City Council; Carol Gresser, former president of the Board of Education; and Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio. Republicans that have either announced or expressed an interest include Councilmembers Al Stabile and Michael Abel.

Stabile, who has represented part of Rockaway since 1993, took off the gloves when he heard Pheffer was entering the race, questioning her "self-interest".

‘When did she decide to enter the race...after she was re-elected," Stabile said. "She’s deserting her Assembly seat...breaking her contract with the people."

Stabile, who is term limited like Shulman, has continuously denied various commissionerships within the Giuliani Administration. "I had an obligation to complete my four years, and another four years, that I was elected to," Stabile said. "Pheffer is being unfair to her constituency."

The two-term councilman felt confident that he would be the next borough president, citing his union support and ability to reach out to all people.

Stabile also said he was the only "true voice" for Southeast Queens in this race.

"We need a fighter for Southeast Queens...and our present borough president doesn’t give a damn about us. How can Pheffer say she’ll fight for Southeast Queens if she has been in the pocket of our present borough president," Stabile said.

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