A Closer Look At Forest Hills' Races

With the primaries over, what's going down on Nov. 2?

Now that the dust has settled from the Sept. 15 primaries, it's time to take a look at the local politicians who still have challenges ahead.

In Forest Hills, there is at least one race that could alter the face of the local political landscape: Senate District 15.

District 15 is shaping up to be a horserace between Democrat Joe Addabbo Jr. and short-term City Councilman Anthony Como of Middle Village.

Como, who's become a familiar face on the political scene locally just by running for office, has raised more than $250,000 and has more than $100,000 on hand.

Addabbo, who's held the seat since he beat Como's former boss, Serf Maltese, in 2008, is at a disadvantage when it comes to funding, with just over $30,000 in the bank with less than a month to go.

Republicans see Addabbo as vulnerable, given the short amount of time he's spent in office and the tendency of his district to fall on the conservative side of the fence. Maltese held the seat after Republican Martin Knorr, who held the office throughout the 1970's and 80's.

One insider said the state-level GOP considers Como's campaign crucial to preventing the Democrats from maintaining control of the state Senate, and have thrown their backing behind him accordingly.

Elsewhere, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi weathered a challenge from Forest Hills attorney Joe Fox, to find himself in a better position in the general than in the primary.

Hevesi's challenger on Nov. 2 is newcomer Alex Powietrzynski. Powietrzynski, a polish immigrant, is at a disadvantage from a fundraising standpoint, currently banking around $4,000 to Hevesi's nearly $10,000. In a sign of exactly where he thought the more crucial challenge was, Hevesi spent nearly all of his campaign funds before the general election even started.

Shirley Huntley and Toby-Ann Stavisky both pushed through some trouble in their primaries, and their reward is clear sailing through the general.

On the national level, Republican Bob Turner has come out swinging against U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, specifically against the health care reform plan that Weiner helped to champion.

Turner even held a town hall-style meeting all about the health care reform on Oct. 4, bringing a panel of doctors to testify against it. In interviews, Turner has called the health care bill a "bad idea, top to bottom."

Weiner, for his part, has chosen not to directly engage with Turner, and the reality is that he might not have to.  He has a huge funding advantage and hasn't faced a challenger who gained more than a third of the vote since 2002.


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