2012-04-27 / Top Stories

Ulrich Launches State Senate Bid

By Nicholas Briano

Ulrich after his special election win in 2009. Ulrich after his special election win in 2009. Republican City Councilmember Eric Ulrich officially announced his candidacy for the New York State Senate against incumbent Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.

When the redistricting lines were redrawn recently and Malcolm Smith, Rockaway’s lone State Senator, was ousted from the peninsula, this left Rockaway with two districts. One district encompassed roughly the west end of the peninsula and the other, roughly the eastern half.

The two incumbents of those new districts are Joseph Addabbo Jr. (west) and Shirley Huntley (east). If Addabbo were to retain his seat, under the newly drawn redistricting lines, he would once again represent the Rockaway peninsula as he once had in the City Council.

Defeating an incumbent is historically a difficult task in any election. That is, unless you have a strong and viable candidate to oppose the incumbent. Well, when those lines were redrawn, current Rockaway City Councilmember and Republican, Eric Ulrich, saw an opportunity ripe for the taking.

Ulrich doesn’t have anything to lose by challenging Addabbo because he still has a year left before he’s up for re-election in the City Council. So, if his bid should fall short against Addabbo, he would still be eligible to run for City Council in 2013.

Ulrich took to YouTube to make the announcement. He said, “For the past three years, I have been honored to serve the people of my community at City Hall. I am now ready to take the fight to Albany where I will be an independent voice for the taxpayers of Queens County. I will be a state senator who never stops fighting for the middle class.”

“I will bring the same fresh approach and new ideas to the State Senate that I’ve brought to the City Council. I love my job on the City Council, but the stakes are simply too high. Too many of my friends and relatives have left New York because they simply can’t afford to live here any longer. We need to change that.

I’m running because I believe I can make a difference.”

Ulrich surprised many by winning a special election against several other more seasoned political veterans back in 2009 to secure a seat on the City Council. He was only 24 and since then has quickly risen to be one of the more prominent Republican figures in Queens despite his age. He was recently chosen by presidential nominee Mitt Romney as his New York City campaign chairman.

Addabbo was Ulrich’s predecessor in the City Council and if it weren’t for Addabbo vacating his council seat when he was elected to the State Senate, Ulrich would never have had the chance to win the special election. So off went Addabbo to serve the mainland areas of southern Queens, as a State Senator, in January 2009. The new district lines in the State Senate now have Addabbo returning to represent Rockaway; that is assuming, of course, that he wins the election in November. If not, Ulrich will win and take the newly drawn State Senate district seat, opening up the City Council seat for a special election, likely in the first couple of months following the election.

The new 15th Senatorial District will include the communities of Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, select areas of Far Rockaway, Forest Hills, Glendale, Howard Beach, Kew Gardens Hills, Maspeth, Middle Village, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park and Woodhaven.

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