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Carolyn Maloney’s Defeat Leaves a Void

Elections in August? What elections are these? And yet. Haven’t they heard of summer vacations?

It seems to me that they don’t want people to vote. Who votes in August? It’s much easier to control elections that way. Don’t you think so?

And yet, the primaries took place and the results are bittersweet.

Let’s start with the bitter: Carolyn Maloney, the Congresswoman who for thirty years represented most of the Astoria area, a Congresswoman who embraced the Greek-American community, learned all about our national issues and made them her own, a Congresswoman who participated in the Community’s events, who was Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, was soundly defeated. And this deeply saddens us.

Jerrold Nadler, the winner, is also a veteran congressman, also with thirty years of service in Congress, and who will now represent the Upper East Side – which comprised half of Maloney’s district – along with his past constituents on the Upper West Side. Those two neighborhoods were united after the boundaries of the congressional districts were redrawn. Astoria is now almost entirely in the new 14th congressional district, where Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her primary on Tuesday.

It must be noted that Nadler has also taken pro-Hellenic positions. However, any way you look at it, Maloney’s loss is a loss for us.

Of course, whether or not Nadler will want to upgrade his relationship with the Greek-American community to the level of Maloney will depend on us and no one else: Will we approach him? Will we support him? Will we do the same with Ocasio-Cortez, who will inherit the Astoria portion of Maloney’s old district?

The very good news is that Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis won her primary in Staten Island and Brooklyn and is moving on to the November 3 elections. And this news is very pleasant for two reasons. First, because she is a Greek-American, and second, because I am pleased to note that after a rocky start, Nicole has become informed and has vigorously embraced our national issues.
In general, she has the ‘stuff’ of a politician with a future.

New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes also won the Democratic primary for the newly drawn 26th Senate District which includes the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Marine Park. He is active on issues affecting the Greek-American community through the Hellenic American Leadership Council, a network of Greek-American leaders from across the United States that promote civic involvement, human rights, and democratic values in and between the United States and Greece.

We are also heartened by the Democratic primary victory of Greek-American Charlie Crist in Florida’s Democratic primary for governor, a position he held as a Republican and now pursues again as a Democrat.

He will have a difficult battle because his opponent in the general election, incumbent Governor Ron DeSantis, is very popular right now. But one never knows.

Unfortunately, in primary and even in general elections, our participation as candidates and voters is generally minimal…


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