2009-11-06 / Front Page

Sanders, Ulrich Win Re-Election Bids

By Nicholas Briano

It was an easy election night as predicted for Councilman James Sanders, Jr., but the race for the City Council seat in the west end of the peninsula was billed as one of the most contested of the Council races and a rare chance for a Republican to win.

But as the votes were counted on Tuesday night, it was clear that Republican Eric Ulrich easily won re-election by obtaining nearly 60 percent of the vote for District 32, de feating Democratic challenger and one-time favorite for the seat, Frank Gulluscio.

With the tally still unofficial, Ulrich received 59.09 percent (12,177) compared to Gulluscio's 49.91 (8,430).

As expected, Democratic incumbent James Sanders Jr. easily won re-election in the 31st councilmanic district with 89 percent (14,843) of the vote compared to challenger Scherie Murray's 11 percent (1,835). Once certified, The Wave will provide voters with a detailed breakdown of how each polling site voted in their district's election.

This marks the end of a disappointing run for Gullu scio, who failed to make it on the special election ballot last February when his political ally and former boss, Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., won election to the State Senate. That opened the door for him and made him the immediate favorite in the special election. However, problems in validating nominating petitions left him on the outside looking in. Therefore, Ulrich, a relative newcomer to most on the peninsula, won over the votes of enough residents in Rockaway, to win the seat from his closest contender, Lew Simon. However, local Democrats were still confident that Gulluscio had enough name recognition and party affiliation on both the peninsula and mainland to defeat Ulrich this week.

Early and unofficial numbers provided by the Rockaway Republican Club indicate otherwise. Ulrich overwhelmingly defeated Gulluscio in Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy Point. According to the numbers provided, Ulrich defeated Gulluscio 1,454 votes to 164 in Breezy Point, and in the rest of Rockaway and Broad Channel combined Ulrich received 3,574 votes to Gulluscio's 1,727.

Therefore, according to preliminary totals Ulrich had 7,149 votes on the mainland compared to Gulluscio's 6,539, proving that Ul rich's strong showing on the peninsula was the difference in the race. Out of the 3,747 votes by which Ulrich won, the difference of 3,137 votes from the peninsula accounted for most of Ulrich's margin of victory.

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