2006-09-15 / Community

'Wild Woman' May Be Headed Home

With Paper Ballots To Be Counted, Trails By 197 Votes
By Howard Schwach


Longtime State Senator Ada Smith, often called "The Wild Woman of Albany" by her detractors may have lost her reelection bid to a first-time candidate who is Preident of the District 28 Community Education Council.

With all of the election precincts in the 10th Senatorial District reporting an unofficial count, Shirley Huntley of Queens leads Smith by 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent.

And, while a spokesperson for the Board of Elections said on Wednesday that there are more than 2,500 paper ballots in the borough of Queens that must be counted before the tally is official, she declined to speculate about whether any of those paper ballots could have an impact on the Smith reelection bid.

By state law, the paper ballots will be opened and counted eight days after the election - on September 20.

Staff for Smith declined to say whether or not she would concede and would not speculate on whether or not the paper ballots could make a difference in the outcome of the election.

Smith told Jonathan Hicks of the New York Times, however, "Until all the votes are counted, there is no winner."

Over the years, Smith has been accused of menacing an aide with a meat cleaver, attacking a wedding party guest, refusing the right to take photographs at municipal weddings and macing a Brooklyn police officer after a traffic accident.

She has also been accused of using anti-gay slurs against staffers.

She has been convicted of running over the foot of a State Trooper who tried to stop her at a security checkpoint at a garage in Albany and was most recently convicted in an Albany court of harassment for throwing scalding hot coffee at another aide. It is unusual for incumbents to lose a reelection bid, and Huntley gave some credit to published reports about her opponent's problems with the law.

Huntley told reporters, "I'd like to give a medal to all the newspapers because press had a lot to do with [my winning the primary."]

Smith has long represented Broad Channel in the State Senate, although the island community makes up only a very small portion of the senatorial district.

Her race was the only primary challenge faced by a local politician.

Most of the local incumbents face no challenges in the upcoming November general election.

An expected primary challenge by Far Rockaway resident Mike Duvalle against Assemblywoman Michelle Titus was derailed when Duvalle was removed from the ballot by the Queens Supreme Court in August.

The only local facing a November challenge will be Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, a Democrat, who will face Republican candidate Stuart Mursky on November 7.

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