2009-01-02 / Front Page

Add Another To Special Election

By Nicholas Briano

In no particular order, the list includes Lew Simon, Frank Gulluscio, Eric Ulrich, Geraldine Chapey, Glenn DiResto, and now, Mike Ricatto.

Republican Mike Ricatto plans on joining five other candidates to fill the vacated 32nd Councilmanic District seat.
That's the list of candidates who have entered the race to become the next New York City councilmember representing the 32nd District, which includes the western end of Rockaway, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Woodhaven. The seat became open on January 1 when it was vacated by Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., the district's former councilman who defeated longtime State Senate Republican incumbent Serphin Maltese in November's general election.

Ricatto, relatively unknown to the Rockaway community, brings the special election list of candidates to six. Three are from Rockaway and three from the Howard Beach/South Ozone Park area, which constitutes about half of the district's registered voters.

Although the city council special elections are non-partisan, Ricatto presents a challenge to Eric Ulrich who, until last week, was the only Republican in the race, and liked his chances of squeezing out enough votes in what he says is a traditionally Republican district.

The three that are from Rockaway are retired NYPD lieutenant Glenn DiResto and two Democratic District Leaders — Lew Simon and Geraldine Chapey.

The other three candidates, Gulluscio, Ulrich and Ricatto, come from the "mainland" portion of the district.

The election list keeps growing despite the fact that Mayor Bloomberg has yet to announce the date of the special election, which is widely expected to be held sometime in February.

Ricatto, who declined to be interviewed by The Wave until he officially announces his bid sometime next week, has purchased advertising in most of the district's newspaper outlets declaring his candidacy.

In contrast, Simon, who said last month that he planned on running, has officially announced his bid this week and says he plans to present a "legitimate challenge" to the other five candidates. He says that his name recognition will help in his candidacy.

"I have experience working with city, state and federal agencies and the Democratic leadership on a regular basis," Simon said in a press release this week.

Simon ran for the same seat back in 2001, losing in the Democratic primary with 22 percent of the vote compared to Addabbo's 43 percent. Addabbo then went on to win the general election and serve for the next seven years.

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