The candidate debate for the City Council seat vacated by Mark Weprin was going to be a regular debate session organized by different Queens Village community organizations until Michael Foubister, a new candidate for District 23, showed up Tuesday night.
The 54-year-old Foubister was wandering around the basement room at the Bellerose Jewish Center, where the debate was about to begin, and walked up to the candidates table. “I am a candidate,” he said, waving his city Campaign Finance Board list of contenders.
Most of the candidates for District 23, which covers the neighborhoods of Hollis Hills, Queens Village, Little Neck, Douglaston, Bellerose, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Holliswood, Fresh Meadows and Oakland Gardens, had no idea who the latecomer was and a couple even laughed.
One of the candidates, Bob Friedrich, shook his head and said anyone can list themselves on the Campaign Finance Board.
“He is not a candidate,” Friedrich said. “You have to file a petition with the Board of Elections.”
Most of the candidates had similar answers on issues but the serious debate took a momentary comical turn after Foubister’s arrival.