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Kings County Conservatives hold Annual Awards Dinner

Party Leaders Stuart Avrick and Nancy Roden Are Honored

November 3, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Steve Saperstein, Ray Denaro, Marty Golden, Christine Parker, Vito Bruno and Jerry Kassar. Eagle photos by Arthur De Gaeta
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The Kings County Conservative Party, formed in 1962, held its annual awards dinner at Tre Fontane at 222 Avenue U in Gravesend. The event was hosted by Jerry Kassar, Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman and state Sen. Marty Golden’s chief of staff; and Fran Vella-Marrone, Brooklyn Conservative Party vice chairman and U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan’s Brooklyn district director.

The Jim Gay Memorial Award was presented to Manhattan party leader and activist Stuart Avrick, and the Alice Gaffney Memorial Award was given to Conservative Party executive board member Nancy Roden. The featured speaker was Barry Bennett, senior strategist for the Trump campaign.

“Our annual event was a wonderful gathering of candidates and activists who have dedicated countless hours assisting the Conservative Party in its efforts on behalf of hardworking New Yorkers,” Kassar told the Brooklyn Eagle. “The Conservative Party wants smaller government, less taxes, safe streets, better schools and a quality of life second to none.”

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Kassar, Vella-Marrone, Golden and state Assemblymember and mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis spoke at the event. Golden congratulated the award recipients and acknowledged the candidates running in the upcoming election, including Vito Bruno for borough president and John Quaglione, Ray Denaro, Steve Saperstein and Christine Parker for the City Council seats in their respective districts.

Kassar introduced Malliotakis, explaining that this was her 11th event of the day campaigning for mayor in what he called a competitive race between Malliotakis and current Mayor Bill de Blasio. He added that Malliotakis has been representing the Conservative Party and Brooklyn since 2010.

Malliotakis received a loud round of applause when she asked, “Are you ready to make Bill de Blasio a one-term mayor?” She encouraged people to not believe the polls and called it a very competitive mayoral race.

“We are within striking distance,” she said. “What’s going to happen depends on who comes out to vote on Tuesday. We’ve got to make sure that the people who are disenchanted with the deterioration in our quality of life and the people who are fed up with paying more taxes and seeing their property taxes increase 28 percent and getting no results come out to vote.”

She ended by saying, “I will take the ‘for sale’ sign off of the gates of City Hall. We will return integrity to government and we’re going to make sure that city government doesn’t work for the few friends and donors and the millionaire developers, but that it actually works for the people of this city.”

Vella-Marrone said she was very pleased with the turnout for the dinner. “Our 55th Annual Reception was a great success,” she said. “Once again, this year the Brooklyn Conservative Party is running an excellent field of candidates led by our candidate for mayor, Nicole Malliotakis.”

Golden called the attendees “the salt, the bread and the butter that makes our community work.” He praised the Conservatives for helping to keep the Republican message alive. He also thanked Justice Bruce Balter, who is running for re-election to the New York Supreme Court.

Other community leaders present included Kathy Khatari, John Abi-Habib and George Prezioso.

“This was a very successful event attended by a lot of candidates with a great deal of enthusiasm,” said Kassar. “It shows that the Conservative Party is on the move, and I’m very happy with the results of the evening.”


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