Quaglione holds kickoff fundraiser in bid for council seat
Vincent Gentile’s Seat is a Hot Commodity
On Monday, Republican John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden, kicked off his run for the City Council seat currently held by Vincent Gentile. Gentile’s tenure ends in November due to term limits and his seat is a hot commodity within the 43rd District (Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights). The event was held at Positano restaurant at 10018 4th Ave. in Bay Ridge.
That same evening, Liam McCabe, another Republican council candidate held his own fundraiser at Chef Andrea’s at 7312 13th Ave. A third Republican candidate, Bob Capano had previously held his campaign kickoff on Feb. 26.
Democratic Party contenders for the seat include Justin Brannan, Kevin Peter Carroll, Rev. Khader El-Yateem and Nancy Tong. Assemblymember Peter Abbate (D-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) is also a potential candidate but has yet to formally enter the race.
Quaglione has entered a crowded field, but managed to attract a packed house of well-wishers. Elected officials offering their support included Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman and Marty Golden’s Chief of Staff Jerry Kassar and Brooklyn GOP Chairman Ted Ghorra.
Also in attendance were civic leaders Jay Sessa and his daughter Courtney, attorney Joe Elhilow and Basil Capetanakis.
Lawyer John Orlando welcomed the attendees and thanked them for coming. He explained the importance of two particular dates that supporters must be aware of, the Republican Primary on Sept. 12 and Election Day on Nov. 7. He said that it was imperative for Quaglione to win the primary in order to be on the ballot on Election Day.
Orlando turned the microphone over to attorney Bob Howe, who said this was the first of many celebrations before Nov. 7 when, “We will all be celebrating our new city councilman of the 43rd Councilmanic District, John Quaglione.”
Howe went on to say that the City Council position is “the closest form of government that directly impacts our daily lives, whether it’s safety, sanitation, streets, parks, schools or small businesses, the council impacts it every day,” adding, “It is a quality-of-life institution.”
Howe said that Quaglione is right for the position because he is a lifelong resident of the community who knows “what the community was like, what the community is like and what the residents want it to be — a safe, neighborly environment to live, work and raise children.” He also praised Quaglione for being involved in a dozen civic causes.
Howe said that Quaglione has worked more than 20 years for Sen. Marty Golden, calling Golden “the most effective legislator our community has known,” adding, “and having been mentored by Marty, John promises to be no less effective.”
Quaglione thanked Howe, his wife Kerry, his two daughters and all the attendees for their support. He made reference to his prior run for the council seat, which he lost to incumbent Gentile in 2013, saying, “This is the first time since 2003 that there is no incumbent in the race and we are going to win this time.”
He said that working for Golden has been one of the greatest honors of his life, and it has given him a ringside seat to see what public service means. Golden was in Albany and unable to attend, but was represented at the kickoff by his wife Colleen.
Quaglione said that this election is not about a political party, but about the people who live in the community, adding, “We live in the best small town in the biggest city in the world.” He said that by the size of the crowd gathered he knew that he had made the right decision to run for office.