Crowley Speeds Up in Final Lap
by Henrick A. Karoliszyn
Oct 30, 2008 | 1708 views | 0 0 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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When the final minutes faded the campaigns in June 3's special election, Elizabeth Crowley had plenty to be optimistic about. It was the final day of a battle waged to beat out three other candidates in the race for 30th District Council, and she felt a victory coming.

When she arrived at a polling site at P.S. 91 located in her native Glendale, Crowley told a group of local reporters that she was confident she would win and wished her rivals luck after it was all over.

The 30-year-old raised more money than her opponents, rallied eclectic support, and had her politically connected family - including Congressman Joseph Crowley - help endorse the fight.

Unfortunately for Crowley - and despite the confidence - she lost the election by a mere 38 votes to Republican candidate Anthony Como, who has been in office ever since.

Tom Ognibene, a seasoned politician who once held the position, came in third place followed by Ridgewood resident, Charles Ober, who found himself in last despite snagging a coveted New York Times endorsement.

Since it was a special election to finish what would have been Dennis Gallagher's term - who was forced out of office amid scandal - an election is being held on November 4 to determine who will officially retain the council member position.

And both Como and Crowley, who are the two current candidates vying for the position, realize how close the final numbers can get.

That was a prime topic of discussion at the Woodhaven House on Tuesday night when former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, flanked by Congressman Crowley and other Queens Democratic leaders, showed their last-minute support for Elizabeth Crowley in the upcoming election.

Despite a relatively quiet campaign - especially when compared to last summer's - Crowley has recently built up steam in the final lap.

"When we last left off in this room, we were all expecting and anticipating a great victory," said Congressman Crowley to supporters at the restaurant Tuesday night, referring to the special election. "And many of us felt let down because we came up in the end 38 votes short. When anyone ever tells you their vote doesn't count this is a great example of every vote counts."

Currently, Crowley has out-funded Como's campaign by a 2 to 1 margin and despite a more hushed approach, her supporters believe a clear victory is in sight.

"She's an incredible trooper and she did an outstanding job," said Congressman Crowley of his cousin.

Ed Koch, a three-term New York City Mayor who took over in 1977, supported Liz Crowley in the special election and continues to pull for the Glendale resident.

"When Elizabeth called me up during that special election and asked me to come in I said 'Sure,'" he said. "And I don't support many. I support the ones that believe in the same goals and ideals that the people of New York and that I have."

Koch then said that he first ran on a "common sense" approach that appealed to the middle-class and despite being liberal, he was a liberal who wanted what was best for the people. That's what he feels Crowley brings to the table.

"It's common sense and that's what she [Elizabeth Crowley] has and she demonstrated that to me when she came to my office and I said I would support her and I'm happy to," he said. "I'm sorry that she lost the first time, but by such a narrow number that I'm convinced that we will win this time.

"She will make a great member of the council," the former mayor continued. "But she can only get elected if we're knocking on every door until 9 o'clock when the polls close."

Crowley graciously accepted the support before stressing how constituent support is, indeed, the key to victory.

"Every vote really does count," she said. "It's going to be a different situation in November. People are coming out to vote for a president. We have to make sure that they vote all the way down the line. Remember, it's only one vote that you need more than your opponent.”

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