Election Day Provides Few Surprises For Locals
The result of the race involving Rockaway City Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. helped the Democratic party gain control of the state Senate for the first time in 40 years and installed a majority Democratic government in Albany that includes a Democratic governor for the first time since 1935.
Addabbo handily defeated the Republican incumbent, Serphin Maltese, in the state Senate's 15th District, earning 57 percent of the vote.
The Addabbo victory marks the end of his tenure as the west end's city concilman and will vacate the seat held by him for the past seven years. The Democratic majority created in the state Senate as a result of Addabbo's race and other critical contests, however, does make Rockaway's state Senator Malcolm Smith the Senate majority leader in Albany.
As a result of Addabbo's exit, a special non-partisan election for his council seat is tentatively scheduled for February, 2009 to fill the remainder of his term, which will run only until the end of next year. The non-partisan election can and will, most likely, include several candidates from each party, because there is no primary process designated for special elections.
Early candidates that have filed for next year's city council race, and are likely to run in the special election in February, include Howard Beach's Democrat, Frank Gulluscio and Republican, Eric Ulrich. However, several more candidates are expected to come forward and throw their names in.
Other notable races included Rockaway Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, who ran against Republican Breezy Point resident Gerald Sullivan, and defeated him by more than a 2:1 margin to elect the 21-year legislator to another term.
"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to serve my constituents again," Phef- fer said after her victory. "I thank everyone who supported me and I am confident that I am always actively serving my constituents."
Congressman Anthony Weiner was virtually unopposed by his conservative rival, Alfred Donohue, who only managed seven percent of the vote.
"Thank you, voters in the ninth, for overwhelmingly re-electing me," Weiner said. "I will continue to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it and am grateful to have the opportunity to serve once again."
Unopposed Rockaway elected officials who were granted another term include state Assemblywoman Michelle Titus, state Assemblywoman Shirley Huntley, state Senator Malcolm Smith and US Congressman Gregory Meeks.
Assembly — District 23
Audrey Pheffer (D) 67% (21,202);
Gerald Sullivan (R) 32% (10,220)
U.S. Congress - District 9
Anthony Weiner (D) 92% (102,561);
Alfred Donohue (Con) 7% (8,608).
State Senate — District 15
Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D) 57% (40,084);
Serphin Maltese (R) 42% (29,637).
State Senate — Malcolm Smith
State Assembly — Michele Titus
State Assembly — Shirley Huntley
US Congress — Gregory Meeks.