Two Mainland Council Candidates Lead Fundraising
With City Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo, jr. term-limited and moving on to a run for the State Senate, some candidates for his seat have come forward in advance of the 2009 election and have begun their fundraising efforts.
Both of the candidates now officially vying for the open seat have one thing in common - they are from the mainland.
So far, no Rockaway residents have officially come forward to announce for the seat.
Frank Gulluscio, former aide to Addabbo, is the Democratic District Leader and the district manager for Community Board 10. Gulluscio, who already has the Democratic Party nod, has often been seen in Rockaway in past weeks, most notably at the Tribute Park Fundraiser and at the National Night Out Against Crime ceremony at Beach Channel High School.
Addabbo, who is already active in campaigning for the Senate seat, did not make either event.
The Campaign Finance Board says that Gulluscio has reportedly raised $32,616 through July 15, the date a disclosure statement had to be filed with the agency.
His only announced opponent in the race so far is Republican District Leader Erich Ulrich, who has raised $28,350 during the same period.
Both candidates claim to know Rockaway and its problems, but some locals say that it is time for a City Councilperson from the peninsula.
One local political activist, who asked not to be named because he may plan a run for the seat, pointed out that the problem for Rockaway is in the rezoning that was done nearly 20 years ago that broke put Rockaway into two different districts, with neither having the political clout that one unified Rockaway district would have.
"In the west end, Rockaway is in the minority, with Howard Beach and the other mainland communities holding the clout," he said, adding that the east end has the same problem with mainland communities such as Rosedale, Laurelton and Springfield Gardens holding the power.
"It would be tough for a Rockaway person with no name recognition on the mainland to win an election under those conditions," he said.