Incumbent City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) staved off a serious challenge from Republican Tom Ognibene, who once held the same seat, to win her first full term representing Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood and parts of Richmond Hill.
In winning, Crowley, 31, has reinforced her hold in a district that has had a Republican in the Council for nearly two decades.
She took in 11,227 votes, or 59.4 percent of the turnout, compared with Ognibene’s 7,686, or 40.6 percent, according to preliminary figures from NY1.
Crowley’s office did not respond to requests for comment by press time Tuesday night.
Ognibene, 65, who held the Council seat from 1991 until 2001, was gracious in defeat.
“The people said, ‘Ognibene, you’ve done a nice job, but it’s time to move on,’” he said. “I just think that there was no rationale to put Ms. Crowley out of office. I just get the sense talking to people that there was no rationale to vote for me.”
The race was quieter than others, but had its fair share of barbs and arrows.
Ognibene accused Crowley of being in the pocket of construction unions. Crowley accused Ognibene of accepting bribes from developer Robert Lattanzio while in the Council.
After agreeing to cooperate with investigators in 1998, Lattanzio said he bribed Ognibene in return for calling the city Department of Buildings to advance certain projects. Ognibene was never charged with any crime in the incident.
“I know it was nonsense, the DA knows it was nonsense,” Ognibene said. “It’s kind of sad that it comes up again.”
The pair were well-matched in fund-raising. Ognibene spent a good deal of his funds on billboards