Who Is On Your Ballot?

Darling Diaz, left, talks with poll worker Jamie Williams-Rivera before voting in Flushing. Photo by Mark Lennihan courtesy of AP

Darling Diaz, left, talks with poll worker Jamie Williams-Rivera before voting in Flushing. Photo by Mark Lennihan courtesy of AP

By Victoria Merlino, Dylan Campbell and Jonathan Sperling

Congressional Members

Third Congressional District: Little Neck, Whitestone, Glen Oaks, and Floral Park, and parts of Long Island

Tom Suozzi (D) Incumbent


  • Higher Wages for Middle Class

  • Lower Healthcare and Prescription Drug Prices

  • Fight Government Corruption

Suozzi was elected to Congress in 2016, after spending terms as mayor of his hometown, Glen Cove, and as the Nassau County Executive. He believes in fighting corruption in government, and in 2004 he created the website FixAlbany.com in order to expose misconduct in New York politics. He is vice-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of 48 members in the House that work for cooperation between parties on key issues.

Dan DeBono (R)


  • Strengthen the middle class through deregulation and fostering small business

  • Modernize infrastructure

  • Protect the Constitution, like freedom of speech and the 2nd Amendment

DeBono is a former Navy SEAL that advised both Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani on their presidential campaigns. He is an institutional investor that runs an investment and advisory business, as well as serves on the Town of Huntington Republican Committee. DeBono has said that he wants to be known as a Republican that breaks up big business in order to help the middle class.

Fifth Congressional District: Broad Channel, Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, Laurelton, Queens Village, Rosedale, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, South Ozone Park and parts of Long Island

Gregory Meeks (D) Incumbent


  • Build better relationships with foreign countries for a more stable future

  • Promote diversity in all fields

  • Revitalizating economy and transportation in the district

Meeks has been a member of Congress since 1998, and is serving his tenth term for the district. He served as a Dodd-Frank conferee, shaping legislation and financial and Wall Street Reform. His current projects include a revitalization of Jamaica and Far Rockaway, helping launch a $10 billion upgrade, and promoting diversity in all sectors of the economy. He is running unopposed.

Sixth Congressional District: Flushing, Forest Hills, Middle Village, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Bayside and Murray Hill

Grace Meng (D) Incumbent


  • Protect workers’ rights and keep jobs in America

  • Quality public education

  • Affordable health care

Meng was born and raised in Queens as the daughter of immigrants. She served as a public interest lawyer before serving two terms in the State Assembly, and was elected to Congress in 2012. She is the first Asian-American member of Congress from New York, and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee. There is no Republican running against her in the district.

Tom Hillgardener (Green Party)

  • Universal basic income funded by government

  • Single payer health care

  • Free public college

Hillgardener was born in Jamaica in 1958. He is a lawyer who works to defend tenants’ rights, as well as civil rights, and has defended people such as the Occupy Wall Street protesters, according to his website. He is a Democratic Socialist and was inspired to run for office by Bernie Sanders.

Seventh Congressional District: Maspeth, Ridgewood and Woodhaven, and parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn

Nydia Velazquez (D) Incumbent


  • Affordable housing in NYC

  • Supporting small business

  • Supporting Puerto Rico

Velazquez was the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in Congress when she was elected in 1993, and is currently in her 13th term. She is the top Democrat on the House Small Business Committee, and she is a supporter of greater economic opportunity for the poor and working class. There is no Republican running against her in the district.

Jeff Kurzon (Reform Party)


  • Believes housing and health care are human rights

  • Standing up for the rights of minorities and supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement

  • Universal basic income funded by government

Kurzon is an attorney who has run for office in the Seventh Congressional District since 2014, losing in 2014 and 2016 to Velazquez.

Joseph Lieberman (Conservative Party) does not have any information available.

Eighth Congressional District: Ozone Park, Howard Beach and areas of Brooklyn

Hakeem Jeffries (D) Incumbent


  • Greater investment in public education

  • Affordable housing

  • Criminal justice reform

Jefferies has represented the district since he was elected in 2012, and has worked for health care and criminal justice reform, as well as championed social and economic justice. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Budget Committee. Prior to serving in Congress, he was a member of the New York State Assembly for six years. There is no Republican running against him in the district.

Ernest Johnson (Conservative Party) and Jessica White (Reform Party) both do not have any information available.

Twelfth Congressional District: Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside and areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn

Carolyn Maloney (D) Incumbent


  • Repairing New York infrastructure

  • Fighting for women

  • Supporting working families

Maloney began as a teacher and administrator for the New York City Board of Education, following with a 10-year run on the City Council. She has been in Congress since 1993, where she has worked for families affected by 9/11, consumer protection, and has worked to get infrastructure projects off the ground in her district, including the building of the Second Avenue Subway and the replacement of the Kosciuszko Bridge.

Eliot Rabin (R)


  • Support small business and heal socioeconomic divisiveness

  • Reduce ineffective bureaucracy

  • Improve quality of life in New York City

A retired member of the Army and owner of a fashion brand, Rabin is running on a platform of tolerance and common sense. He has multiple clothing stores in New York City under the brand name Peter Elliot, and supports small business as a small business owner himself. One ship went bankrupt in 2017, while another shop he closed in 2012 due to rising rents. Other parts of his platform include reinstating the draft again for all citizens regardless of gender, supporting the Second Amendment and infrastructure repairs.

Scott Hutchins (Green Party)


  • Affordable housing

  • Oppose Citizens United

  • Establish public banking system in New York state

Hutchins turned to political activism after a disability, an inability to find a stable job and what he perceives as failures of governmental systems left him homeless. He works with groups that sprung out of the post-Occupy Wall Street movement as an advocate for the homeless, and has gained attention for his blogging on the subject.

Fourteenth Congressional District: Astoria, College Point, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside and areas of the Bronx

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D)


  • Housing as a human right

  • Abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency

  • Improve and expand Medicare for all

Ocasio-Cortez defeated established, high-ranking Democratic incumbent Joseph Crowley in the Democratic primary for the seat in June. Ocasio-Cortez is an activist, and educator and a Democratic Socialist from a working class background in the Bronx. While she has never before campaigned for office, she was able to build an entirely grassroots campaign with no corporate money involved.

Anthony Pappas (R)

  • Against judicial immunity

  • Rejects socialist ideology

Pappas is an associate economics and finance professor at St. John’s University.
He is against Democratic Socialism, and is against judicial immunity, or the legal immunity judges have when deciding cases. He has been disavowed by the Republican party in Queens and the Bronx due to domestic violence allegations.

Elizabeth Perri (Conservative Party) no information available.

US Senators

Kirsten Gillibrand (D)

Background: Gillibrand was a lawyer who served on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington during the Clinton administration. She ran for Congress in 2006 on a platform  for ethics reform, an end to the war in Iraq, and a Medicare-For-All proposal. She has worked for transparency, She was the first Member of Congress to post her official daily meetings, personal financial disclosures, and earmark requests online for her constituents. She wrote the STOCK Act. She has supported universal pre-K, equal pay and paid family leave.


  • Increase American industry

  • Family policy and rights for women and immigrants

  • oppose any efforts to cut the Social Security and Medicare and wants to increase job opportunities for seniors and end senior fraud

  • Supports universal healthcare

  • She wants better support for service members.

Chele Farley ( R )

Background: Farley was a Industrial Engineering major at Stanford University. She worked in financial service for 25 years. She was the Co-Chair of the East Coast Advisory Board of Questbridge, which provided low-income students with scholarships.


  • “Recapturing the $48 billion dollars more that New Yorkers pay in federal taxes each year than the state receives. “

  • Rebuilding roads and transportation system

  • Work for term limits in Congress

  • combat overprescribing of opioids, work to increase access to longer-term treatment facilities across the state and support the death penalty for heroin drug dealers

  • Renegotiate foreign trade policy

  • Support for Israel

State Senators (Legislators)

District 10

James Sanders, Jr. (D) (incumbent) no information available

District 11

John Liu (D)

Background: Liu was on the New York City Council from 2002-2009. He was the Comptroller of the City of New York from 2010 to 2013, and has one campaign for mayor under his belt. He now teaches municipal finance and public policy in Masters programs at CUNY and Columbia University. He was the first Asian American to win legislative office in New York and then the first to win citywide office. His credibility was called into question when past campaign-aide and fundraiser were found guilty of fraud.


  • Preservation of the SHSAT

  • Tenants rights

  • Women’s reproductive rights

  • Protection for small businesses

Vickie Paladino (R)

Background: Paladino is a born-and-raised Whitestone resident. She has held leadership roles at family businesses over the years. According to her website, she decided to run because “The people in NY deserve better.” Since the beginning of her campaign, she has gained attention for berating de Blasio for leaving a NYPD funeral early to attend the G-20 protest in Germany, allowing hateful rhetoric on her social media accounts and tweeting a thank you to the hate group the Proud Boys. She does not have the support of the Republican Party


  • To Keep Rikers Island Open and stop local jails

  • Supporting the SHSAT Test

  • Ending the outpatient program at Creedmoor

  • Fight for the “average hard-working, middle-class taxpayer”

Tony Avella  (Independence Party) (incumbent)

Background: member of Queens Community Board No.7, and an aide to former New York City Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins. He served two full terms on City Council and then was elected to State Senate. He has served in that role since 2010.


  • Increase funding to New York City schools

  • Support small businesses so they can expand and hire new workers

  • Funding for seniors, veterans, and healthcare services, parks, libraries and street tree maintenance

  • Decrease airplane and helicopter noise

He was a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, a now-dissolved seven year coalition that shared power with Senate Republicans. It allowed the GOP to stay in charge of the upper chamber, despite being in the minority. While people criticized giving power to the Republican party, but he was able to secure more money for project in his district.

Simon Minching (Conservative Party)

Background: Minching is Queens-raised St. John’s graduate with a masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. He has worked in tech in product execution and growth since 2013. He is supported by the Queens GOP.


  1. Ethics Reform in Albany

  2. Education Reform including early childhood programs, changes to the school application and choice process, tackle overcrowding and reforming HR

  3. Property tax  and zoning reform

District 12

Michael Gianaris (D) (incumbent) has no major party opponent.

District 13

Jessica Ramos (D)

Background: A union advocate and community organizer, Ramos is a self-described “ mother... renter... straphanger... daughter of immigrants.” She sat on Community Board 3 and served as Democratic District Leader in the 39th Assembly District from 2010 to 2014. She also served as Director of Latino Media for the City of New York.


  • Fix the MTA

  • Strengthen rent laws for NYC and encourage affordable housing

  • Increase school funding

  • Support immigrant, women’s  and small business owner’s rights

Jose Peralta (Independence Party) (incumbent)

Background:  Queens College graduate, Jose Peralta served in the New York State Assembly from 2002 to 2010. In 2010, he became the first Dominican-American elected to the New York State Senate. He has served ever since.

While in office, according to his website, he has focused on  rejuvenating Roosevelt Avenue, fought for public education, sponsored of gun-control legislation. He was a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, a now-dissolved seven year coalition that shared power with Senate Republicans. It allowed the GOP to stay in charge of the upper chamber, despite being in the minority. While people criticized giving power to the Republican party, but he was able to secure more money for project in his district.

District 14

Leroy Comrie (D) (incumbent)has no major party opponent.

District 15

Joseph Addabbo (D) (incumbent)

Background:  Addabbo was elected to the State Senate in 2008. Before that, he served seven years in the New York City Council.


  • Environmental protection

  • Job creation and economic growth

  • Tax relief

Thomas Sullivan ( R)

Background: Sullivan served in the United States Army Reserve for 25 years and currently holds the rank of colonel.25 yrs Off. U.S. Army Reserves. According to his website, he was a small business owner for 10 years and worked in finance for 23 years.


  • Reduce wasteful spending

  • Lower property taxes

  • Stop over-development

District 16

Toby Ann Stavisky (D) (incumbent)

Background: Stavisky was a born and raised New Yorker. She taught Social Studies in the New York City high schools. Stavisky was first woman from Queens County elected to the Senate on November 2, 1999. From there, she became the first woman to Chair the Senate Committee on higher education. She has served eigh terms.


  • While in office, Stavisky backed Paid Family Leave Law

  • Raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour

  • She was a supporter Universal Pre-K program.

  • Preserving the SHSAT exam

  • Protect the rights of immigrants, women and the LGBTQ community

Vincent Pazienza (Reform Party) has no information available.

State Assembly (only elaborated on races with more than one major-party candidate)

District 23:

Stacey G. Pheffer Amato (D) Incumbent


  • Better public transportation

  • Increased funding for public schools

  • Better quality of life

Pheffer Amato was born in Rockaway, and her mother held the assembly seat for the district before she took office. She was active in community groups, such as the Rockaway Beach Civic Association and the parent’s association at her children’s school, before she took office, and operates a pizzeria with her husband. A main issue for her is storm preparedness after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the district in 2012.

Matthew Pecorino (R)  


  • Property tax reform

  • Reductions in wasteful spending

  • Improve mass transit

Pecorino argues he will stand up to “big government” and is against the monetary policies of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He is a budget director City Council member Eric Ulrich.

District 24:
David Weprin (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 25:

Nily Rozic (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 26:

Edward Braunstein (D) Incumbent


  • Opposes overdevelopment in district

  • Supports small business

  • Better public education for underserved communities

Braunstein is a lawyer who has served in the Assembly since 2010. He has helped criminalize “revenge porn,” provided rent relief to seniors and worked to prohibit price gouging during emergencies.

David L. Bressler (R)


  • Opposes overdevelopment in district

  • Devoted to solving issues in the district

Bressler is the regional manager for a bakery conglomerate, and has held leadership positions at the 1000-unit apartment complex in which he lives, the Bay Club.

District 27:

Daniel Rosenthal (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 28:

Andrew D. Hevesi (D) Incumbent


  • Improve quality of life in district

  • Assist homeless

Hevesi is a lifelong resident of the district, and was elected to the Assembly in 2005. He has worked to address homelessness in New York through a bipartisan bill that would allow for 35,000 units of supportive housing to be built. He also supported legislation for renewable energy, helping those impacted by domestic violence and children in the foster system.

Danniel Maio (R)


  • Improve quality of life in district

  • Call district residents proactively to see if there are any issues on their minds

  • Educate seniors on use of smartphones

Maio is a map-maker that previously ran against Congress member Grace Meng in 2016 for her seat. He is the nominee of the Republican and Reform parties, as well as the party In Maio We Trust.

District 29:

Alicia Hyndman (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 30:

Brian Barnwell (D) Incumbent


  • Tax relief for seniors and middle class

  • Stricter prison sentences for violent felons

  • Affordable housing

Barnwell is a longtime Woodside resident and was a private practice lawyer before going to work for District 22 Councilmember Costa Constantinides. He has represented District 30 since 2017 and since then has prioritized strengthening the middle class and helping veterans.

Eric Butkiewicz (R)


  • Keep Rikers Island open

  • Improve subway and buses

  • Keep homeless facilities out of communities

A native of Middle Village and Maspeth, Butkiewicz has advocated against building prisons and homeless shelters in the district. He has founded multiple startups, including a news website and is a proponent of free speech.

District 31:

Michele Titus (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 32:

Vivian Cook (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 33:

Clyde Vanel (D) Incumbent


  • Establishment of digital currency task force

  • Encourage private sector investment for job growth

  • Properly fund public education

Vanel was raised in Cambria Heights and currently operates a business law and intellectual property legal practice. His Cambria Heights office has been used as a community center and business incubator. Vanel was first elected to the seat in 2016.

Lalita Etwaroo (R)


  • New York should not be sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants

  • Keep Rikers Island open

  • No homeless shelters/hotels in district

Etwaroo was born in Guyana, but moved to Queens when she was 11 years old. Her first exposure to politics was in 2012, when she interned at the Assembly under then-Assemblymember Robert Castelli.

District 34:

Michael DenDekker (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 35:

Jeffrion Aubry (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 36:

Aravella Simotas (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 37:

Catherine Nolan (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 38:

Michael Miller (D), Incumbent, has no major party opponents

District 39:

Ari Espinal (Women’s Equality Party/Working Families Party) Incumbent


  • Protect small businesses

  • Expand Excelsior Scholarship and fund public schools

  • Abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Espinal is a Corona native and has worked as a community organizer since the age of 13. After graduating college in 2010, Espinal worked as the director of constituent services for then-Assemblymember Francisco Moya.

Catalina Cruz (D)


  • Investment in public education

  • Affordable housing

  • Protect immigrants from President Donald Trump’s policies

Cruz, an attorney and tenants rights organizer, was born in Colombia, but came to Queens at the age of nine and lived as an undocumented immigrant for 10 years. As a community organizer, she has fought for tenant protections, immigration reform and workers rights.

District 40:

Ron Kim (D) Incumbent


  • Support for small businesses

  • Economic development

  • Support for public schools

When he began serving as the district’s assemblymember in 2013, Kim was the first and only Korean-American elected official in New York. Kim’s ultimate goal, according to his website, is to bring the uniqueness of Flushing and Whitestone to Albany to make policy that serves everyone in the state.

John Scandalios (Reform Party)

  • Lower taxes

  • End “pay-to-play corruption” in Albany

  • Less regulation for small business

Scandalios has been a Flushing resident for more than 50 years and describes himself as a fiscal conservative. A small business owner, Scandalios supports the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults, as well as sports betting to fund fixes to the MTA.