Of course, we don't have any idea who that incumbent might be.
We spotted this poster last week on a newspaper box along Queens Boulevard near 46th Street. Apparently, someone named James J. Dillon is running for Congress, but as you can tell by the poster there isn't much more information than that.
Is he a Republican? Is he a Democrat? What district is he running in? So many questions!
But according to the poster, Dillon “speaks your language.”
Our first impression would be that Mr. Dillon is challenging Congressman Joseph Crowley, as the poster is in his district.
We did a little quick Google research, and found a New York Times article from 1998 about the elections that year. That was the same year that Congressman Thomas Manton resigned from his seat in a surprise overnight move that, in accordance with various elections rules, essentially allowed him to pick his successor in then-assemblyman Joseph Crowley.
That made Crowley the Democratic nominee, but he still faced a Republican challenger, which according to the Grey Lady that year was none other than GOP candidate James J. Dillon!
Crowley easily won, garnering 67 percent of the vote to Dillon's 27 percent.
Well, it looks like Dillon is back in the picture according to this campaign poster. Just don't ask us which one is Dillon. (We're guessing the guy in the suit.)
In should be noted that Crowley is not actually up for re-election until next year, so it looks like the Dillon campaign (if there is one) is a little premature.
Since we don't have much more information on Dillon (we can't find a campaign website), we dug up some information, also from the New York Times, on his 1998 run.
According to the article, Dillon was getting no support from the Queens County Republican Party, and the editorial party found his “positions on tax policy are extreme and his platform on foreign policy seems to call for American isolationism, except in regard to countries whose ethnic groups are represented in the district.”
He's obviously not above extending a hand to the Spanish-speaking members of the district.
There's also the possibility that this is someone's idea of a joke. The poster looks new and in good shape, but the design is more than antiquated. In fact, if we didn't know any better we might suspect Gregg Turkington of being behind this!
We're guessing that someone came across an old campaign poster and decided to put it up on Queens Boulevard, but if you are running Mr. Dillon, give us a call. We would love to “habla.”