first to the gate in race to replace
Attorney has $150K
war chest, 1,800 signatures as hopefuls rush to replace disgraced
By Howard Koplowitz Thursday, July 23, 2009
candidate Albert Baldeo, who has roughly $150,000 in his campaign
account, said he amassed more than 1,800 petition signatures in his
bid to replace former Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, who resigned in
June after pleading guilty to honest services mail fraud
While at least six candidates have announced their
intentions to run for the seat, Baldeo is the only contender so far
who has his contributions listed with the state Campaign Finance
Board, according to the agency’s records.
Education Council 24 President and Community Board 9 member Nick
Comaianni, state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) staffer Lourdes
Ventura and Farouk Samaroo, a former staffer to ex-Assemblyman Brian
McLaughlin, have campaign committees on file with the CFB.
5 member Michael Miller and Forest Park Senior Citizens Center
Executive Director Donna Caltabiano, who is being endorsed by the
Queens GOP, have expressed interest in the seat, but do not have
campaign accounts on file with the CFB.
The six contenders
believed the seat would be filled along the same schedule as this
year’s citywide races, but Gov. David Paterson is reportedly
thinking of calling a special election to fill the vacancy,
according to City Hall News.
The paper said there was
speculation that if
Paterson called a
special election, “Baldeo may not meet the state Constitution’s
one-year residency requirement and be disqualified from running
until the seat comes up again in next year’s election
An unnamed Queens Democratic
source told City Hall News that it was “hard to see a scenario where
Baldeo would be the party’s choice.”
Baldeo’s filing showed
he had $146,389 on hand. His opening balance was $160,600 — mostly
transferred funds from his state Senate campaign account — with
$7,790 in contributions. He spent $22,000, according to the filing,
which was released last Thursday by the state Elections
“I’m honored and humbled by the support my campaign
[is] receiving from the community,” Baldeo said in a statement.
“Voters are looking for new representation that will go to
Albany and finally get
the Legislature working for the people.”
Baldeo said he filed
more than 1,800 petition signatures to get on the ballot in the
Assembly race. Only 500 valid signatures are needed.
In a press release
issued by his campaign, Baldeo noted he was the only candidate with
prior election experience.
Baldeo unsuccessfully ran for City
Council in 2005, but shocked the borough’s political establishment
in 2006, when he came within less than 900 votes of ousting
then-Sen. Serphin Maltese (R-Glendale).
The Ozone Park
attorney ran again for the Senate last year, but bowed out in favor
of then-Councilman Joseph Addabbo, who went on to defeat
The 38th Assembly District covers