Addabbo 'Close' To Run For State Senate
By Howard Schwach
Term-limited and with few places to go in the public service realm, City Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. is looking to the State Senate seat in the 15th Senatorial District now held by Republican Serphin Maltese as his "next logical step." Addabbo told The Wave this week that, while nothing is definite this early in the calendar, he "is close to taking the steps necessary to run for the senate."
"I love the public service life and I am under term limits," Addabbo said. "Where I go next is up to the people, but this is my next logical step." Addabbo said that he would make a definite decision sometime later this year.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is a Repulican but was angered at Maltese over his stand on state school funding, offered last year to fund Addabbo's run against Maltese, but the city councilman said at the time, "the time is not right for my candidacy." Now facing term limits, Addabbo seems primed for the run. He said that he spoke to Maltese and that the senator joked, "To lose to you would be an honor." Local political experts, however, believe that Addabbo could win, but that it would be a hard-fought campaign.
And, while Addabbo is likely to be the Democratic Party candidate should he seek the slot, other Democrats plan to get into the race as well, possibly diluting the anti-Maltese vote.
Should Addabbo make the run and win, he would no longer represent Rockaway. The 15th Senatorial District takes in an area from Woodside to Howard Beach, Addabbo's home territory.
He said that he would miss Rockaway, but would continue to look after its needs in the Senate.
"The people in my new district would still use the beach and the events run by the RMAC and the RAA are always attractive to the people on the mainland," he said. "It's not Rockaway, but the people go to Rockaway for lots of things."
Addabbo says that there are lots of good people ready to take his City Council seat should he leave.
He points to Lew Simon, Geraldine Chapey, Frank Gulluscio and others who come immediately to mind.
He added, however, that The Wave "had nailed it" in a recent editorial that called for new candidates with some separation from the Democratic Party machine. Local political experts point to other Democrats who might run. Some names that have popped onto the radar screen are Palmer Doyle, Kevin Callaghan, Joann Shapiro and Rob Curran.
Those experts say that there are many Republicans who may enter the race as well, Some names floated by the pols include Joanne Ariola, Jerry Cronin, Stu Mirsky and Ed O'Hare.
Lew Simon told The Wave that it was too early to think about the possibilities. "There's nothing happening now," Simon said. "Call me when it actually happens."
There is a possibility, however, that things might move faster than expected. Governor Eliot Spitzer, who is reportedly actively working to turn the senate over to the Democrats, may well offer some state post to Maltese in order to clear his seat before the next election.
Should that happen, then a special election would be held to fill Maltese's seat. Should Addabbo win that special election, his seat would become open and there would be a special election to fill that seat, locals say.