2008-10-17 / Top Stories

"Demographics Have Changed, It's My Time."

Sullivan Seeks To Unseat Assembly Incumbent
By Howard Schwach

Gerard "Jerry" Sullivan, who seeks to unseat incumbent Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer in the November 4 election. Gerard "Jerry" Sullivan, who seeks to unseat incumbent Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer in the November 4 election. Gerald "Jerry" Sullivan thinks that he can beat incumbent Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer in the November 4 election despite the fact that she has been reelected to that seat for nearly 20 years.

"Things are different this year," Sullivan told The Wave in a long interview, "The demographics in Rockaway, particularly in the west end of the peninsula, have changed, have become more conservative and [Pheffer] is not as entrenched as she once was."

Born in Brooklyn, Sullivan has spent his summers in Breezy Point since 1969 and moved in full-time when his parents winterized their home in 1987.

A graduate of Xaverian High School and St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia, Sullivan went on to work on the floor of the Stock Exchange and then went into trading stocks and bonds.

He says he is running because Rockaway needs a local candidate who will help residents bring government back to the people.

'I want to be the person who brings responsibility back to the government," he said. "Right now, it seems that nobody is responsible for all of the problems we face."

Sullivan believes that people in Rockaway are ready for a conservative legislator.

"I know that I'm going to lose in the eastern end of the district, in the senior citizens housing where [Pheffer] goes to meetings and street fairs, but I will win in Howard Beach and Ozone Park, Neponsit and Breezy."

Sullivan, who is going door to door in the areas he believes he can win, toes closely to the Republican-Conservative line.

He favors doing away with the cap on the number of charter schools allowed by the state and wants to see parochial school parents get vouchers or tax credits to pay for their tuition.

"We need kids to get to better schools," he said. "People are leaving the peninsula because of the public schools, and they need a better alternative."

He says that "something must be done about the growing crime problem in the Rockaways," and that he recommends more cameras and a crackdown on guns.

While he opposes a national gun control law, he favors stricter city laws that would keep guns away from criminals.

"I'm opposed to any kind of gun control," he said. "People have a constitutional right to bear arms, but we can make it harder for people to get illegal guns. People who transport illegal guns from one state to another should be punished."

Sullivan knocks Pheffer for voting for the partial birth abortion act, and says that he opposes all forms of abortion, including those allowed by the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

He also knocks the city and its officials for rezoning Beach 116 Street to allow eight-story buildings.

Sullivan is also fiscally conservative He would put an immediate cap on property taxes, despite the financial problems faced by the city.

And, he abhors the fact that the state legislature has been called one of the worst in the nation.

"The state of affairs in state government is terrible," he said. "That comes from the way our districts were chopped up and we have four different state legislators, none of whom owe their allegiance to Rockaway."

"Pheffer and the Democrats have been there for a long time," he concluded. "It's time for a change."

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It's about time someone ran agianst her. Audrey is nothing but an oportunist running around to get her face in the papers every chance she gets. New younger energy to the Rockaways would be a nice change.

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