Who’s endorsing who in the Queens borough president race

New York City Council Member Donovan Richards.
New York City Council Member Donovan Richards.
William Alatriste/NYC Council
New York City Council Member Donovan Richards.

Who’s endorsing who in the Queens borough president race

6 candidates are vying to replace Melinda Katz.
February 24, 2020

Who will lead the world’s borough? 

The ballot is set in the special election for Queens borough president, with six candidates vying to replace Melinda Katz, who resigned at the end of last year to become the borough’s district attorney. But the outbreak of the new coronavirus has pushed back the election, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 24. Now, the next Queens borough president will be picked on Tuesday, June 23.

An election was already scheduled for that day, with New Yorkers set to vote in primary races for Congress and the state Legislature. But the day just got busier, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order that also made June 23 the day of New York’s presidential primary.

Unlike the primaries, the Queens borough president race is a nonpartisan special election that is open to all registered voters living in Queens. Early voting will take place from June 13-21. Some advocates and candidates, including New York City Councilman Costa Constantinides, have called on the state to expand absentee voting, allowing anybody to vote by mail, but the state hasn’t announced any changes yet.

The coronavirus has changed campaigning too. At least three Queens borough president candidates – Constantinides, New York City Councilman Donovan Richards and former City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, confirmed in March that they would stop all in-person campaigning, limiting themselves to phone calls, digital ads and other methods.

The winner of the special election is expected to take office immediately. But it isn’t clear whether the winner would then serve out the remainder of the term until the end of 2021, or whether there would be another election following the special. The office is currently being held in an interim capacity by Sharon Lee, who previously served as deputy borough president under Katz.

Here’s a quick rundown of the candidates, as well as the endorsements they’ve earned from prominent people, unions and organizations. The list is updated as of March 31.

Donovan Richards

Age: 36

Party Line: Community Unity

Profession: New York City Council member, since 2013

Home neighborhood: Laurelton

Total fundraising as of March 9: $280,749 + $456,598 in public matching funds

Endorsements: Queens County Democratic Party, Brooklyn Democratic Party, Citizens Union, 1199SEIU, Council of School Supervisors & Administrators, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, District Council 37, Local 372, Council of School Supervisors & Administrators,Alliance of South Asian American Labor, Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Gregory Meeks, state Sens. Leroy Comrie and James Sanders Jr.; Assembly members Alicia Hyndman, Clyde Vanel, Stacey Pheffer Amato, Vivian Cook, Catherine Nolan, Nily Rozic and David Weprin; New York City Council members I. Daneek Miller, Adrienne Adams, Justin Brannan and Farah Louis; former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman

Costa Constantinides

Party Line: TransformQueens

Age: 45 

Profession: New York City Council member, since 2014

Home neighborhood: Astoria

Total fundraising as of March 9: $227,185 + $608,171 in public matching funds

Endorsements: Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW Local 1500, IUOE Local 94, CWA Local 1106, Teamsters Joint Council 16, Teamsters Local 814, Teamsters Local 553, National Association of Social Workers – NYC PACE,the Queens Ledger, Sunrise Movement NYC, Sierra Club of New York City, StreetsPAC, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, South Asian American Voters Association, New Queens Democrats, Muslim Democratic Club of New York,state Sens. Jessica Ramos, Michael Gianaris and Andrew Gounardes, Assembly members Aravella Simotas and Ron Kim, New York City Council members Helen Rosenthal and Ben Kallos

Elizabeth Crowley

Party Line: It’s Our Time

Age: 42

Profession: board chair of Friends of the QNS; former New York City Council member, through 2017

Home neighborhood: Glendale

Total fundraising as of March 9: $398,082 + $900,029 in public matching funds

Endorsements: Transport Workers Union Local 100, IBEW Local Union 3, UA Plumbers Local 1, New York City Police Benevolent Association,Uniformed Firefighters Association, Uniformed Fire Officers Association, Detectives’ Endowment Association, New York State Court Officers Association, FDNY EMS Local 2507, District Council 9, Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 28, International Union of Operating Engineers Locals 14, 15, 30 and 891, CWA Local 1180, Local 12 Insulators, Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 28, New York City District Council of Carpenters, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 1, International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1,New American Voters Association, Eleanor’s Legacy, The Vulcan Society, Himalayan Democratic Club, Begowal Society of New York, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman

Jim Quinn

Party Line: Keep Queens Safe

Age: 68

Profession: former Queens senior executive assistant district attorney, through 2020

Home neighborhood: Richmond Hill 

Total fundraising as of March 9: $92,066

Endorsements: Queens County Republican Party, Queens County Conservative Party, Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, New York City Councilman Robert Holden, former state Sen. Serphin Maltese

Anthony Miranda

Party Line: QnsProgressives

Age: 58

Profession: chairman of the National Latino Officers Association, retired NYPD sergeant

Home neighborhood: Fresh Meadows

Total fundraising as of March 9: $80,420

Endorsements: Community Alliance Group, Voice of Pakistani Americans, The Bangladeshi American Advocacy Group, Grand Council of Guardians, New York City Deputy Sheriffs Association, 100 Hispanic Men, Friends Forever of 78 Inc., Small Business Congress, East Elmhurst Corona Democratic Club

Dao Yin

Party Line: Red Dragon

Age: 56

Profession: former corporate controller, and former executive general manager of a robotics company

Home neighborhood: Bayside 

Total fundraising as of March 9: $64,729 + $37,600 in loans

With reporting by Amina Frassl.

Jeff Coltin
is a senior reporter at City & State. He covers New York City Hall.