Electronic scanners at the Board of Elections warehouse in Sunset Park wait to be dropped off at polling sites throughout the borough. Bushwick’s election day will be quiet, but Ridgewood has a real race tomorrow. — Photo by Aaron Short
Election Day is tomorrow but Bushwick should be spared the usual campaign drama that has swept across the neighborhood in recent years. Neighborhood heavyweights Assemblyman Vito Lopez and State Sen. Martin Dilan face only token opposition in overwhelmingly Democratic North Brooklyn, and there are no city races on the ballot this year.
Addabbo, a former two-term councilman and Ozone Park resident, whose father was also a congressman, won a seat in 2008 defeating former Senator Serph Maltese, and has since served on a number of fun-sounding committees including the Racing, Gaming and Wagering committee.
Como, a former two-term city councilman and Middle Village resident has been former Senator Serph Maltese’s chief counsel, an Assistant District Attorney in the Queens’ Criminal Court Bureau (in the homicide division), and Republican Party Commissioner for the Queens County Board of Elections, before running in a failed bid for State Assembly against Andrew Hevesi, son of the former-now-indicted comptroller Alan Hevesi.
Both candidates have sparred with each other at debates over the past week, focusing on the state budget, untimely hospital closings (two in the past year), and the need for a new indoor casino at the Aqueduct Race Track, cheerfully named a “racino.”
The project and its controversy-riddled bid process laid out in a 300-page report by the state inspector general has ensnared a number of Democratic state senators, though Addabbo has remained on the periphery but not above criticism.
Como jabbed Addabbo at the most recent debate saying that the neighborhood didn’t need the racino, and Addabbo rumbled back, defending the project for creating jobs and bringing an infusion of cash to the state.
Both believe they have a good shot to win and the outcome will likely be close.
The fundraising has been tightening too. Addabbo started out with a hefty $100,000 lead as of July, but State Senate Republicans gave $100,000 to Como on Oct 19 and another $10,000 two days later, according to Crain’s, as part of a total of nearly $240,000 spent on Como’s race by the party.
And what did Como spend his windfall on? Another 30-second ad, according to City Hall News.
In Brooklyn, the Board of Elections President, Community Board 4‘s own Julie Dent, is making more news than the election itself.
Last week, Dent abruptly fired Board of Elections Executive Director George Gonzalez in the wake of a series of embarrassing election-related incidents including confusing ballot designs, faulty electronic machines, and bureaucratic incompetence. Gonzalez and the board have been a frequent target of Mayor Bloomberg, who could be moving to assert further control over it.
In an interview with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer this morning, Dent said the board will be ready to run elections tomorrow and tried to clear up some confusion over where to mark your vote on the ballots — but got just as confused as everyone else who looks at the ballot.
"It will just show the person that whoever they’re voting for, that they will mark the oval next to the candidate of their choice," she said. "You said the oval is next to the candidate’s name," Lehrer said. "My understanding is that was precisely the source of the confusion." "I should have said below," said Dent. "The oval is below the candidate’s name."
"It will just show the person that whoever they’re voting for, that they will mark the oval next to the candidate of their choice," she said.
"You said the oval is next to the candidate’s name," Lehrer said. "My understanding is that was precisely the source of the confusion."
"I should have said below," said Dent. "The oval is below the candidate’s name."
Perhaps this is why Como decided to run for State Senate in Queens instead of for Board of Elections.