2001-06-02 / Front Page

Beep Race Cools Down,

Beep Race Cools Down,

Council Race Heats Up

By Howard Schwach

The withdrawal of local Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer from the Queens Borough President race has cooled that race down for local voters, although three Democrats and two Republicans remain in the race. At the same time, the entrance of Democratic leader Lew Simon at the last moment has added more drama and interest to a City Council race that already includes a number of local residents.

Simon joins local residents Chris Jorge, Palmer Doyle, Robert Curran and John Macron in the race. Simon, Jorge, Doyle and Curran are all vying for the Democratic nod in the coming primary election. Macron is a Republican.

Also vying for the seat are such non-Rockaway residents as Joe Addabbo, Jr. and John Seminario, Joann Ariola and Alex Lutz. Addabbo and Seminario are Democrats, Ariola and Lutz, Republicans.

That makes a total of eight people running for the seat of term-limited Al Stabile. Stabile is running for the Borough President seat being vacated by Claire Shulman.

Geraldine Chapey, another local resident who had her sights on the council seat has decided not to run.

The Republican power structure has designated Ariola as its candidate for the seat, but the Democrats decided last week not to endorse any candidate. The race, as one expert calls it, is "a free for all," among the candidates.

There is also a possibility that another candidate or two will enter the race prior to the June 1 deadline.

One long-time Republican leader told The Wave that he doubted that all of the Democratic candidates could get the requisite number of signatures on nominating petitions. While Republican candidates need only 500 signatures to get on the ballot, Democratic candidates need nearly three times that many.

Many of those who have announced that they are running have previous political credentials. Simon, for example, is the Democratic District Leader. Joe Addabbo, Jr. is the son of our long-time Congressman and has been a District Leader and Community Board member for many years. Joann Ariola was Stabile’s chief of staff for many years prior to going to work for City Councilman Noach Dear. Alex Lutz, who is rumored to be ready to drop the race, is presently chief of staff for Stabile. Seminario is the son of longtime political bigwig Tony Seminario.

Most of those who are not political insiders are community activists. Chris Jorge is active with the Rockaway Artist’s Alliance and with the schools. Palmer Doyle, a local firefighter, headed a number of West End organizations.

Only Macron is relatively unknown on the peninsula.

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