2006-11-08 / Front Page

Elections '06, No Surprises

BY JOHN TOSCANO

Photo Vinny DuPre Celebrating at the Taminent Democratic Club are (l. to r.): Ted Kasapis, Athena Onorato, George Onorato, Gloria Aloise, Michael Gianaris, Gloria D'Amico, Charles Lopresto and Joann Lopresto. Photo Vinny DuPre Celebrating at the Taminent Democratic Club are (l. to r.): Ted Kasapis, Athena Onorato, George Onorato, Gloria Aloise, Michael Gianaris, Gloria D'Amico, Charles Lopresto and Joann Lopresto. State Comptroller Alan Hevesi weathered the storm over his ethics lapses as the state's voters re-elected him to a new term in yesterday's elections, according to incomplete and unofficial returns.

As expected, Eliot Spitzer was elected the 54th governor of New York state, ending Governor George Pataki's 12- year reign. U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton easily won a second six-year term, and Andrew Cuomo scored a victory to become the state attorney general, succeeding Spitzer.

It was the first time in 40 years that the Democrats won every statewide office in an election.

However, with Hevesi facing a serious threat of being dumped from office because of an adverse ethics ruling and several related investigations, it remains to be seen whether the Democrats will be able to choose a successor to him, if necessary, and continue as total rulers in the state government.

Spitzer led the Democratic ticket sweep from the Comptroller race down to the Queens contests at the bottom of the ballot.

The Democrats' victories enabled them to continue complete domination of the borough's congressional and Assembly delegations, and to win re-election to every state senate seat they already held.

However, their candidates did not threaten the borough's two Republican senate incumbents, Frank Padavan and Serphin Maltese. Each won a new term.

In local Queens races, Congressmembers Joseph Crowley and Carolyn Maloney defeated their opponents to win new terms. Their House colleagues, Gary Ackerman, Anthony Weiner and Gregory Meeks, won re-election without opposition.

In the state senate contests, newcomer Democrat Shirley Huntley, 68, defeated Jereline Hunter to succeed Ada Smith in a Southeast Queens district.

Other Democratic incumbent state senators won reelection without opposition. These included George Onorato (Astoria), John Sabini (Jackson Heights), Malcolm Smith (St. Albans) and Toby Ann Stavisky.

Democrats won all six contested races for Queens Assembly seats, starting with newcomers Ellen Young and Rory Lancman, who won public office for the first time in adjoining Flushing districts.

Veteran Democratic incumbent Assemblymembers Nettie Mayersohn and Audrey Pheffer won in Flushing and Rockaway, respectively, as did Michele Titus in Richmond Hill and Andrew Hevesi in Forest Hills-Rego Park.

Democratic Assembly incumbents who won re-election without opposition were Michael Gianaris (Astoria), Ivan Lafayette (Jackson Heights), Catherine Nolan (Ridgewood), Jeffrion Aubry (East Elmhurst), Margaret Markey (Maspeth), Anthony Seminerio (Ozone Park), Jose Peralta (Corona) William Scarborough (Jamaica), Vivian Cook (Springfield Gardens) and Barbara Clark (Cambria Heights).

The winners of seven state Supreme Court Justice seats and two Civil Court judgeships could not be determined at press time.

As the Gazette went to press about two hours after the polls closed at 9 p.m., there was no indication that the Republicans were in any danger of losing control of the state senate, which didn't loom as a threat as the voting began early yesterday.

But the skirmishing to determine who would control the House and Senate in Washington when all the voting was completed around the nation was still going on.

However, the Democrats' long-awaited return to total power on the statewide scene set off thousands of victory celebrations throughout the state, leading with Spitzer's victory celebration in Manhattan.

In Queens, the celebration was held at county organization headquarters in Forest Hills, where newly elected County Chairman Joseph Crowley headed the festivities.

Spitzer's victory over John Faso and Clinton's defeat of former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer were announced soon after the polls closed, based on projections made by television stations reporting the returns.

Cuomo's win over Jeanine Pirro and Hevesi's victory over Christopher Callaghan took a little longer to kick in.

Republicans, presented with a chance to win the comptroller's race, poured several million dollars into Callaghan's effort in the final two weeks of the campaign and campaigned hard for him, as shown by Callaghan's endorsement by Arizona Senator John McCain.

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