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Challenger goes after Abbate

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Two years after unsuccessfully trying to unseat veteran Democratic Assemblymember Peter Abbate, one local GOP political wannabe is back for a second try.

Lucretia Regina-Potter, who is the Republican-Conservative candidate in the 49th Assembly District, introduced herself again to voters during a candidate’s forum sponsored by the Bay Ridge Real Estate Board and held at Sirico’s Caterers, 8023 13th Avenue, at which Abbate also appeared.

Regina-Potter told the assembled group that, “The most important issue right now is the economic crisis we are all facing.

“I don’t believe any hard-working citizen should bear the tax burden for the bailout,” Regina-Potter proclaimed.

Regina-Potter noted that the New York State Assembly, “has been labeled the most dysfunctional legislature. There are some good people and some bad people there. Right now, it seems the bad is outweighing the good. I’m here to change all that.”

Regina-Potter also contended that, “under the watch of my opponent,” three parochial schools in the district had shut their doors. “The schools in the district are taking a real beating,” she asserted. The area has also suffered, she said, as a result of the closure of Victory Memorial Hospital. “It will have a great ripple effect on the district,” she predicted.

Regina-Potter suggested re-appropriating funds currently earmarked for women’s reproductive health services. “As for the use of public funds for abortion,” she said, “I know there’s a lot of money wasted for these programs that could be used to help our seniors or to help our children.”

Abbate, who has been in the Assembly since 1987, said that he did his best to represent the district in the three arenas that legislators must engage in. He has been, he noted, “The prime sponsor of over 200 bills signed into law” during his career and, “this year, over 20.”

In addition, said Abbate, over the years, he has brought “a lot of funding into the district,” including money for each school and senior center in the district, as well as “numerous groups” that operate inside the district.

Working with Republican State Senator Marty Golden, Abbate said he had been “instrumental” in securing funding for four schools in the district to get extensions. These are Public School 229, Public School 163, McKinley Intermediate School and New Utrecht High School.

He had also worked with Golden to get funding for new lighting along 18th Avenue, Abbate said.

He has also “gotten money” for institutions located outside the district which serve district residents, Abbate said. These include St. Francis College, Columbia University and New York University Dental School.

Finally, Abbate noted, his two district offices provide constituent services on a wide range of issues, and have served in excess of 15,000 “of our neighbors.

“I hope I can go back to Albany, with your support, to keep the community one of the best communities,” Abbate concluded.

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