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[Update] Ulrich, Addabbo Make Business First Battlefield

In race for Senate Dist. 15, rivals face off for small business owners.

With less than two months to go before Election Day, the campaign for state Senate in southern Forest Hills is about to kick into overdrive.

With the economy looming large in elections on the federal level, it's looking like small business owners will be a big focus in Senate District 15, as well.

City Councilman Eric Ulrich, R-Ozone Park, fresh off his victory over Juan Reyes in the GOP Primary, hammered incumbent state Sen. Joe Addabbo, D-Forest Hills, Tuesday through a campaign spokesman.

The campaign pointed to a 50 percent score that Addabbo received on a voting survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a nationwide lobbying group.

"When I was in school, if you scored a 50, that meant a failing grade," said Ulrich spokeswoman Jessica Proud. "Mr. Addabbo has one of the worst records on small business in the Senate. At a time when Queens families are struggling to find good-paying, sustainable jobs, Joe Addabbo is in Albany voting against their interests."

At almost the same time, a spokesman for Addabbo sent out a release trumpeting the two-term senator's business bonafides.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Galvin said Addabbo "has worked to help small businesses reduce their energy cost through joint initiatives with energy providers, which has made it possible for local businesses to expand and open up more job opportunities."

Galvin also released photos of a small business walk Addabbo conducted on Cross Bay Boulevard in southern Queens. 

Update: 1:15 p.m. Sept. 19: Addabbo responded directly to the attacks on his business record in a statement.

“I am disappointed my opponent used a partisan lobbying firm to attack me on such an important issue,” said Addabbo, “The plight of our small businesses is a serious matter, in need of being addressed as I have done in the district, not merely by campaign press releases.”

So who's right? Let us know what you think of the race so far in the comments below.

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