2011-06-17 / Top Stories

Looks Like Goldfeder Against Deacy

Major Parties Solidifying Choices
By Howard Schwach

Philip Goldfeder follows his boss, Senator Charles Schumer. Philip Goldfeder follows his boss, Senator Charles Schumer. Even though Governor Andrew Cuomo has not yet called for a special election to fill the vacancy in the New York State Assembly created when Audrey Pheffer left her seat to become Queens County Clerk, the major parties seem to have begun to solidify their choices for the seat.

And, insiders say, the race looks like Far Rockaway politician Phil Goldfeder for the Democrats and Breezy Point resident Jane Deacy for the Republicans.

None of the other parties with a ballot line have yet made their choices, preferring to wait until Cuomo actually announces the vacancy and calls for the election.

And, with Deacy virtually assured of the Republican nod, the Democratic line is still up for grabs – somewhat.

Initially, the woman with the inside track for the Democratic nod was Jo Ann Shapiro, longtime aide to Pheffer over her two decades in the Assembly.

Jane Deacy will be the Republican candidate Jane Deacy will be the Republican candidate Shapiro pulled out of the race two weeks ago, and has not yet indicated who she and Pheffer will back for the Democratic line.

Insiders, however, tell The Wave that the two will back Goldfeder, an Orthodox Jew from Far Rockaway, who once worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and who now works for Senator Charles Schumer.

Goldfeder, 31, has the backing of the insular Orthodox community, a group that has backed Pheffer and is expected to back Goldfeder.

“Phil is a popular candidate. He’s the best news for Far Rockaway in a long time,” said Richard Altabe, a leader in the Far Rockaway Jewish community in an interview for The Jewish Star. “He had been an amazing player in getting out the vote. If enough of Goldfeder’s neighbors vote it could defy expectations of a small turnout and provide him a win. “We vote as a community,” he told The Star, “and Phil has been effective in creating a voting bloc.”

Democratic District Leader Lew Simon, a perennial candidate, plans to run for the Assembly seat only if he gets the party nod. He told The Wave this week that he would not run for the seat against the party’s wishes.

Simon, however, believes that his work for the Rockaway community over the past two decades gives him the inside track for the Democratic approval.

Democratic District Leader Geraldine Chapey, who lost to both Republican Eric Ulrich and Simon in a special election for the City Council seat and has been a near-recluse ever since, now told supporters that she might be ready to run again. In addition, Democrats Glenn DiResto, Vince Castellano and Paul Schubert plan to run. None of them has much of a chance of earning the party nod, insiders say, and would have to petition to get on the ballot.

It is widely believed that the special election will be held on Primary Day in September.

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