You are reading

Two Candidates Get Big Name Endorsements in Quest for Western Queens Assembly Seat

Candidates Juan Ardila and Johanna Carmona (courtesy of the candidates)

April 25, 2022 By Christian Murray

Two candidates running for the District 37th Assembly seat got big name endorsements over the weekend.

Johanna Carmona was endorsed by Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, while Juan Ardila got the backing of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

Meeks, who is the chairman of the Queens Democrats, made the announcement Sunday and describes Carmona as being “a daughter of Queens” who is committed to “progressive and common-sense legislation” that will improve the quality of life for residents in the district.

“I am proud and excited to endorse Johanna Carmona for New York State Assembly, representing Ridgewood, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Blissville, Woodside, and Maspeth in Albany,” Meeks said.

Johanna Carmona and Gregory Meeks

“Johanna has the real-world experience and street smarts Queens residents need. She has worked on behalf of first responders on 9/11 compensation, stood shoulder to shoulder with survivors of sexual assault and child abuse, and played a critical role in bringing local police officers and community members together to make Western Queens safer.”

The announcement follows on from two other recent endorsements she has secured—with Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, who represents the Forest Hills area, and Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell, who represents the Upper West Side of Manhattan, both backing her campaign.

Carmona, a lifelong Sunnyside resident, also has the support of the incumbent Catherine Nolan, who is not seeking reelection, and the Ridgewood Democratic Club.

Carmona, a lawyer who was an assistant district attorney in the special victims unit with the Kings County District Attorney’s office from 2017-2000, has the backing of moderate Democrats and the party establishment.

The announcement of the Meeks’ endorsement comes at the same time that Ardila announced that he has been endorsed by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

Jessica Ramos, Juan Ardila, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Donovan Richards and Catalina Cruz (L-R) at a campaign event for Ardila earlier this month (Instagram @juanardilanyc)

“Juan Ardila has always been a passionate advocate for the community,” Richards said in a statement. “He is a leader who understands the need for protecting tenants, expanding healthcare and fixing the climate crisis here in Queens. I’m excited to support Juan for Assembly because I know he will be a strong champion for progress in Albany.”

Ardila has the backing of many left-wing Democrats, such as State Sen. Jessica Ramos, Council Members Tiffany Cabán and Jennifer Gutiérrez, Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, the Working Families Party, New York Immigration Action, Make the Road Action among others.

Ardila is a staffer at the Legal Aid Society and previously worked for then-City Councilmember Brad Lander, who is now Comptroller.

Brent O’Leary (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Brent O’Leary, a Long Island City resident and attorney who is also vying for the seat, said that he has not been endorsed by party leaders or left-wing Democrats.

“I am proud to state we are NOT backed by the county democratic machine nor the extremist left,” O’Leary said in a statement.

“I am a commonsense Democrat with common sense solutions to our rising crime and failing school system. Our campaign is not pushing extremist, out of touch ideas nor are we beholden to the interests of the local machines,” O’Leary said.

O’Leary has been endorsed by the 504 Democratic Club—which represents Democrats with disabilities— and the Asian American Chamber of Commerce which fights for small businesses.

Meanwhile, Jim Magee, a lifelong Sunnyside resident and attorney who is also running, has been endorsed by the New York State Court Officers Union.

Jim Magee going door to door gathering signatures. He secured more than 1,100 signatures to get on the ballot (Photo courtesy of Magee)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

Creep sought for performing ‘lewd act’ in front on M train rider in Ridgewood last month: NYPD

Police from the 104th Precinct and Transit District 33 are looking for a suspect in a public lewdness investigation for an incident on an M train at the Seneca Avenue station last month.

A 31-year-old woman was on board a Queens-bound M train on Sunday, Jan. 22, at around 9:20 p.m., when she was approached by the unknown man who proceeded to perform a lewd act in front of her, according to an NYPD spokesman, who could not provide any details about what the lewd act was.

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.

Ridgewood’s 104th Precinct working to ward off illegal motorbikes, abandoned vehicles and more 311 complaints

Illegal parking, blocked driveways and abandoned vehicles are some of the more common issues at almost every community-driven meeting. The Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale communities know all too well that these issues constantly plague their quality of life. 

The 104th Precinct recently shared several posts on Twitter involving the confiscation of illegal motorbikes and the towing of multiple abandoned vehicles. The efforts to thwart these recurring quality-of-life issues increased over the last two months, at the same time Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, the commanding officer of the 104, took over.

Ridgewood Garden Associates lawsuit claims city DOT failed to negotiate on locations of new Citi Bike stations

Ridgewood Garden Associates Inc., a residential co-op based in Maspeth, is filing a lawsuit against the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and Lyft for their alleged lack of negotiation on alternative locations for the installation of Citi Bike stations near their property.

According to Ridgewood Garden Associates Inc.’s president of the board of directors, George Mandato, the organization sent a letter to Councilman Robert Holden in December 2022 requesting a discussion about alternative locations and dates for the DOT’s installation of the bike stations. However, they were unable to get the chance to do so.