District leaders from the Queens Democratic Party won’t meet to determine their picks in City Council races for more than a year, but Queens Democratic leader/Congressman Joe Crowley appears to have picked sides in a least one race.
Last Thursday, Costa Constantinides, a staffer for Councilman Jim Gennaro who is running for the Council seat currently held by term-limited Astoria Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. held a campaign fundraiser, with Crowley as the headlining guest.
Constantinides said this should not but seen as a formal endorsement, but acknowledged there is a good shot he’ll have Crowley’s backing.
“I appreciate the congressman’s support and as the process moves forward, I’m looking for to seeing whether this results in his support,” he said. “I’m very happy for his guidance and leadership.”
Constantinides, who has been a loyal soldier for Crowley, just stepped down as president of the Queens Young Democrats, whose ranks Constantinides claims he swelled substantially over the past few years. He also stood down on a planned run for then Assemblyman Mike Gianaris’ seat in 2010 when it became clear that the Queens Democrats favored Aravella Simotas for that seat.
One intriguing candidate for the Council seat is Perry Vallone, a lobbyist who is the brother of Vallone, Jr. The Vallone family has long maintained a tepid relationship with the Queens Democratic Party. Another stumbling block could be that Perry currently lives in New Jersey and would have to more to Queens in order to run.
Surprisingly, Constantinides said Vallone, Jr. also showed up at the fundraiser for a brief appearance. No word yet on whether the councilman left a donation.
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