April 30, 2020 By Allie Griffin
One of the six candidates running for Queens Borough President has been knocked out of the race after Governor Andrew Cuomo cancelled the nonpartisan special election scheduled for June 23.
Cuomo called for the cancellation of the special election that would have determined who would be borough president until the end of the year.
Now Acting Borough President Sharon Lee will serve in that role for the rest of 2020.
Cuomo ordered that just the primary for the position scheduled for June 23 be held. This will be followed by a general election in November. The winner in the general election will take over the position on Jan. 1, 2021.
Former prosecutor Jim Quinn, the most conservative candidate of the bunch, will not appear on the ballot for the primary election because he didn’t file petitions along party lines for the primary election.
Quinn said the governor’s decision to cancel the special election disenfranchises Republicans, conservatives and independents, as only a Democratic primary is scheduled for June 23.
“Almost 8,000 voters signed petitions to get me on the ballot,” he said in a statement. “That has been wiped away by the governor’s action.”
On Friday, the governor signed an executive order cancelling the special election, which was first scheduled for March 24 and then moved to the same date as the primary election for the same position on June 23 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many leaders and groups said having both elections for the same position on the same day would create voter confusion.
The New York City Campaign Finance Board, the government watchdog group Common Cause/NY and several of the candidates called for the governor to cancel the primary election and have the winner of the special election serve as Queens borough president through the end of 2021.
Cuomo sided with the “Queens Democrat machine” in cancelling the nonpartisan special election, Quinn alleged.
Council Member Donovan Richards is the candidate the Queens County Democratic Party is backing.
“The Governor’s action is clearly designed to give the Democrat machine candidate the best chance of winning,” Quinn said. “It is crass political gamesmanship being disguised as a public safety move.”
Quinn said he is considering challenging the governor’s order in court.
“The people of Queens have waited long enough to elect their borough president and they must not be denied this right at the hands of a governor who is acting like an emperor.”
Another candidate, Flushing businessman Dao Yin, also criticized the governor’s decision.
“We all know that politics is a tough business, but I am nonetheless stunned that Governor Cuomo did the dirty work of the Queens Machine by issuing this surprise order in the dead of night and during this coronavirus pandemic,” said Aaron Foldenauer, Yin’s Campaign Manager.
The candidates who will appear on the primary ballot are Council Member Costa Constantinides, former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, retired NYPD officer Anthony Miranda, Council Member Donovan Richards, and businessman Dao Yin.