Congressional Primaries Set For June 26
Because of a new federal law extending the time period that those in the armed forces have for filing absentee ballots in the upcoming November general election, the primary elections for the House of Representatives and the Senate will be held on June 26 this year rather than in September, as usual.
There is a Republican primary in the Senate for the chance to challenge Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and a Democratic Primary to challenge Congressman Gregory Meeks in the new 5th Congressional District of New York, which now encompasses the entire Rockaway peninsula.
One of those Democrats, however, is making noise about turning around and running as a Republican should he not win the Democratic primary.
Those running against Meeks in the upcoming primary include Joseph Martone of Cambria Heights, Mike Scala of Queens Village and Allan W. Jennings Jr. of South Ozone Park.
Jennings says he may well run as a Republican instead.
On the Senate side, Gillibrand is the incumbent and the official Democratic candidate.
Those Republicans who seek to replace her are Party nominee Wendy Long, of Manhattan; Congressman Bob Turner, a Breezy Point resident; and George Maragos of Great Neck.
The Wave has compiled the official biographies of all of the candidates running in the June 26 primary elections.
Senate Race – Republican Primary
Wendy Long has been a New Yorker for 14 years. She was raised in New Hampshire, where she attended public schools and then was graduated from Dartmouth College. She went to Washington, D.C. during the Reagan years to work in the United States Senate for Senator Gordon Humphrey and then Senator Bill Armstrong. She studied as a Publius Fellow with the Claremont Institute.
Long attended Northwestern University School of Law and Harvard Law School, receiving her J.D. from Northwestern, where she was an editor of the law review. She served as a law clerk to Judge Ralph K. Winter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, and then to Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States.
She practiced law with Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, becoming a litigation partner in New York City. She left private practice to build the Judicial Confirmation Network (now the Judicial Crisis Network), to promote public education about the proper role of the judiciary under the American Constitution and to win U.S. Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Justices and other federal judges with a record of judicial restraint and respect for the Constitution, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.
She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Arthur, where they are raising their two children, Arthur and Mado. She is a member of Governor Mitt Romney’s Justice Advisory Committee, teaches Roman Catholic catechism in New York City for the Narnia program, and is a member of the New York City Parks Mounted Auxiliary Unit.
Bob Turner is the newly elected Republican Congressman from New York City who won in a special election on September 13, 2011.
He currently serves on the Foreign Affairs (Middle East subcommittee), Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs committees.
Turner has lived his entire life in the neighborhoods of the Congressional District.
He was raised in Woodhaven as the eldest of three sons, and raised his own family in Richmond Hill. He now resides in Rockaway Point. Three of his five children — and six of his 13 grandchildren — also live in the 9th District.
Turner spent 40 years of his career in the highly competitive television industry. He was president and chief executive officer of Pearson PLC’s North American television operations. Prior to Pearson, Turner served as president and CEO of Multimedia Entertainment. Before Multimedia, he created and ran his first start-up, Orbis Communications, which distributed advertiser-supported programming for a variety of large advertisers, including Proctor and Gamble. Turner sold Orbis Communications to Carolco Pictures where he continued as president until he left to join Multimedia.
He also served as president of LBS Communications, a division of Grey Advertising, Director of Advertising for Bristol-Myers Company and was the first general manager of CBS Cable.
Some of the TV shows Turner has been involved in include Baywatch, Family Feud, To Tell the Truth, The Phil Donahue Show, The Sally Jesse Raphael Show, The Jerry Springer Show, Fame, the Leonard Nimoy series, In Search Of, and Rush Limbaugh.
Turner has served on industry boards and committees, including the Board of Directors of the National Association of Television Programming Executives (NATPE), the television committee of the Association of National Advertisers, the Board of the Advertising Research Council, was a founder and the first president of the Association of Syndicated Television Advertisers, served on the Board of Directors of Readspeak Inc., Liberty Imaging Inc., and as a trustee of probono organizations such as the Achilles Track Club and Family Focus Adoption Services.
He is married to Peggy Turner— a foster care nurse in a special needs unit — for 47 years. He has raised five children and has 13 grandchildren.
Turner attended St. Thomas the Apostle Grammar School in Woodhaven, Queens and then went on to Richmond Hill High School. He graduated from St. John’s University with a B.A. in history, having worked his way through college. He is a U.S. Army veteran.
George Maragos is presently the elected Nassau County Comptroller. Previously, Maragos had more than 35 years of senior management experience and accomplishments with leading organizations in banking, consulting and information systems, including founding and guiding a successful Wall Street financial technology services company.
Margos was born in Greece on March 17, 1949 in a small agricultural village. His family immigrated to Montreal, Canada in 1958 where he attended elementary school and completed high school graduating first in his class as valedictorian. He was a star athlete in baseball, football, soccer and hockey.
Upon graduating from McGill University, Maragos married Angela and went to work for Bell Canada/Bell Northern Research. He was rapidly promoted and became one of the youngest managers in the global technology organization.
In 1978, he was recruited by Booz, Allen and Hamilton, a leading consulting firm in New York, to work on U.S. Military Defense Command and Control Systems.
In 1981, Maragos left Booz Allen and joined Chase Manhattan Bank to lead a team charged with building the bank’s international data and money transfer network. Maragos received various promotions, becoming vice president. During this time, he pursued a master’s in Business Administration (MBA 1983 in Finance) from Pace University in New York.
In 1985 Maragos became a naturalized American citizen.
In 2009, he ran for public office and was elected Nassau County Comptroller. Since taking office, he has aggressively pursued fiscally conservative policies reducing expenses by more than $50 million and recommending cancellation of wasteful contracts in excess of $125 million.
He has been married to Angela for 37 years and has two sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.
House of Representatives Race – Democratic Primary
JOSEPH R. MARTHONE
Joseph Marthone’s website says that he is a confident, intelligent individual with a track record of accomplishments spanning from his education, his community service, his business and personal life. Growing up in Southeastern, Queens, New York in the middle of the 5th Congressional District taught him the importance of community service, community involvement and the need for serious leadership.
Marthone comes from a family of modest means, growing up in a home with both working parents. His parents provided abundant valuable childhood guidance within a Christian environment, and showed how a supportive family, individual principles, a strong work ethic, faith and a belief in one’s God-given talent can play critical roles in leading a balanced life with the right perspectives. These have always been the guiding principles of Marthone’s life, he says.
Marthone’s site says that he benefited from what this State and this Country had to offer – equality, opportunity, and the promise that through hard work and education one could reach his or her potential and create a full and successful life. But for many of us in the 5fth Congressional District and around the nation, this promise no longer rings true. We are facing a record jobless rate, an enormous budget deficit, a serious housing crisis, and a crumbling school system that is failing our children. We need change because too many career politicians in Washington are bailing out Wall Street instead of helping you and me in Main Street.
Marthone knows firsthand the devastating impact our failing economy has on the men and women who live in the 5th Congressional District and the continued government’s neglect and politicians who advanced themselves with empty lies, false hopes and empty promises. This kind of politics does not create jobs, improve the quality of life for us, or improve pride and morale.
In the last twenty (20) years, Marthone has worked as a community organizer for tenants in Rochdale Village, advocating on behalf of children, women and the elderly. He’s often sought after as a motivational speaker in many forums and has found time to serve as a mentor. Even as a teen he worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide much needed guidance for other youngsters in our community. This life journey of public service is Joseph Marthone’s assignment.
He says that he is running for Congress because he knows things can be different. Together, we can change our course and begin to create a more compassionate, sensible, and sustainable America. During the Obama campaign, he served as a captain campaigning on behalf of then Senator Obama in New York, and various areas of Pennsylvania.
As a small business owner, he understands the issues facing businesses or entrepreneurs today and the burdensome impact government intervention and regulations have on productivity and financial results. Marthone has gained a realistic view of what it takes to manage and grow small businesses, grow our economy and initiate steps which create sustainable, well-paying jobs.
Marthone attended Springfield Gardens High School, where he participated in numerous community activities; he then went on to earn his associate’s degree in Media Relation from Queensborough Community College, and his bachelors degree from Queens College, City University of New York in Accounting, Taxation and Finance.
Mike Scala says that he is running for Congress because he believes we need stronger leaders fighting for everyday Americans. He supports President Obama and recognizes that he needs more support from his own party. When Republicans are unwilling to budge, we as Democrats cannot come to the table with compromised positions.
He believes in compromise, but not for its own sake, and not when the other side gets everything it wants and the American public suffers. There’s too much at stake. We deserve better from our legislators. We deserve representatives with the passion and conviction of our counterparts, but whose ideals are more in line with our needs.
Scala was born and raised in Rosedale, Queens, where he lived most of his life.
He attended PS 195, and received his First Communion at St. Pius X Church. While riding the dollar van to school, he says, he fell in love with Hip Hop and eventually began recording music. That journey took him around the country, where he witnessed how the power of words can bring people together. One of his projects was released by Rawkus Records, the label that also released classics like Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides and the Lyricist Lounge series.
Neither of his parents went to college. His mother was a secretary who worked hard to obtain her insurance license. His father was an actor in Martin Scorsese’s first movie, Who’s That Knocking at My Door. For much of his childhood, Scala says, he lived in a single-parent home. He was determined to make a better way for myself, and he enrolled in what’s now the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
After doing some freelance work, he joined the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in Alexandria, Virginia. NHPCO is the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. It advocates for patients’ rights at the end of their lives.
While in Virginia, he volunteered for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Their efforts included helping college students vote early in the week before the election via in-person absentee ballot. Thanks in part to these efforts, that state voted for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1964. Inspired by the campaign, he took the LSAT and was admitted to Brooklyn Law School. He completed his final year of study for a Juris Doctor degree. During school he worked for the legal department of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), where he helped defend teachers facing discrimination. Most recently he founded the Solid Ground movement, which demands that government focus on the needs of everyday Americans.
GREGORY W. MEEKS
Serving the people of New York’s 6th Congressional District has been the focus of Congressman Gregory W. Meeks’ 13-year tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives. During that time he has earned the respect of his constituents, as well as both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and in New York, as an effective, common-sense leader who gets things done. The economic vitality and wellbeing of the 6th Congressional District stays front and center for Congressman Meeks who sits on two important and prominent committees in the House: the Financial Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Meeks is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, and is the former chairman of the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade. He currently serves on the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, and Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. A critical committee for the state of New York, the Financial Services Committee oversees all components of the nation’s housing and financial services sectors including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities. The Committee continually reviews the laws and programs relating to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and international development and finance agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Meeks serves as a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia, and sits on the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Global Environment. At a time when the world is more interconnected than ever before, the Foreign Affairs Committee has an important role to play. The Committee is responsible for oversight and legislation relating to: foreign assistance; the Peace Corps; national security developments affecting foreign policy; strategic planning and agreements; war powers, treaties, executive agreements, and the deployment and use of United States Armed Forces; peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and enforcement of United Nations or other international sanctions; arms control and disarmament issues; the United States Agency for International Development; activities and policies of the State, Commerce and Defense Departments and other agencies related to the Arms Export Control Act, and the Foreign Assistance Act.
Meeks seeks to promote policies that strengthen America’s economic and national security and build relationships with other nations in a more globalized world. He is a strong supporter of diplomacy and as such is a co-chair of the Dialogue Caucus in the House of Representatives. He also co-chairs the Services Caucus to promote the advancement of trade in services, and the Organization of American States Caucus to facilitate a stronger, more cooperative hemisphere. Congressman Meeks earned his bachelor’s degree at Adelphi University and he received his law degree from Howard University. He is a member of the Allen AME Church in St. Albans, New York and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He is married to Simone-Marie Meeks and has three daughters – Ebony, Aja, and Nia-Ayana.
ALLEN W. JENNINGS JR.
Controversial former Queens Councilman Allan Jennings, who has run for office repeatedly since losing his Council seat in 2005, is now running for Congress – as a Republican.
Jennings, a registered Democrat, has been circulating petitions to run on the GOP line against southeast Queens Democratic Rep. Greg Meeks.
Though Jennings has a checkered history – including allegations of sexually harassing a staffer, throwing a chunk of metal at a reporter, and several ongoing campaign finance issues – Republicans may still end up giving Jennings their Wilson-Pakula endorsement against Meeks.
In part, that’s because Meeks has faced a number of his own trials and tribulations in recent years, and having a well-known opponent could bring those to the fore.
“If Jennings gets on the ballot, he could embarrass Meeks, and if Meeks gets indicted, it could be really amusing,” said one Republican source.
Jennings would need more than 900 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, and that could be a tough task in the southeast Queens district, which is heavily African-American and Democratic, according to Joe Kasper, a Republican district leader in the area.
Kasper said the party’s possible support of Jennings was motivated by a desire to put up a Republican opponent to Meeks, not by a desire to smear the incumbent.
“I certainly don’t wish anybody ill, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re simply being the loyal opposition, and I don’t have any issues with Mr. Meeks,” Kasper said.
Jennings most recently ran for City Council this past September against a longtime nemesis, Councilman Ruben Wills.