The longtime former chief-of-staff for Republican Councilman Daniel Halloran is looking to run for her old boss' seat—as a Democrat. The councilman was recently hit with bribery allegations, setting off a free-for-all for his post.
Chrissy Voskerichian, who had a reputation as extremely loyal to Mr. Halloran but quit soon after the scandal hit, registered a campaign committee Friday to raise money for a possible run. In an interesting twist, a knowledgeable Queens source said, unlike Mr. Halloran, Ms. Voskerichian is registered as a Democrat and was expected to enter a crowded Democratic primary. Her voter registration status as a Democrat was noted in a 2011 Queens Chronicle profile.
"You could say she's more of a conservative Democrat. She's probably got a good shot, since she's well respected and knows everyone in the community," said the Queens source, who is not affiliated with any Democratic campaign.
Also from Crains:
The Queens Republican Party is officially dumping embattled Republican Councilman Daniel Halloran.
A Queens GOP screening committee voted unanimously Thursday evening to instead back the candidacy of Dennis Saffran, an attorney who lost a 2001 race for the same seat by a mere 400 votes, for the northeast Queens seat held by Mr. Halloran, according to party chairman Phil Ragusa. The Queens GOP's executive committee is all but certain to follow suit next Tuesday.
"[Halloran] is a Republican, and he can decide whether or not he wants to run. I can't say whether he's innocent or guilty," said Mr. Ragusa. "But he's got a cloud hanging over his head. He's got to make up his own mind, but I don't think it would be a good idea."
The bribery scandal also ensnared former Queens GOP executive vice-chairman Vincent Tabone, who has since been replaced by former Councilman Anthony Como. Mr. Tabone is accused of accepting a cash bribe. It's unclear whether Mr. Halloran will try to run for re-election. He did not return a request for comment.
From the Queens Chronicle:
A City Council candidate’s long-rumored run was made official this week, as John Duane formally kicked off his campaign after months of fundraising and behind-the-scenes legwork.
The Little Neck resident spent one term in the state Assembly nearly three decades ago and is making a second push for public office since that initial stint in Albany. (Duane lost to Ed Braunstein for the 26th Assembly District seat in 2010.)
Duane said his drive to represent the people of Northeast Queens has not diminished since his long-ago stint in Albany, and in fact has only grown.
“I certainly know the struggles my neighbors have had, and I’ve had them as well,” the Democrat said. “I’ve spent my whole life serving my community.”
The 59-year-old often portrays his candidacy and potential stint in the City Council as a time of bridge-building and nuts-and-bolts legislating. Transportation, education and public safety top his priorities list, as well as veterans issues. The latter concern distinguishes him from his potential opponents.