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33rd Dist. race heads down to the wire

With only one week remaining in a competitive, highly-anticipated seven-way race to succeed Councilmember David Yassky, candidates have been crisscrossing the 33rd district from Greenpoint to Park Slope in a last-minute push to secure victory in the Democratic Primary on September 15.

It has been a contentious battle between reformers, long-time party leaders, community activists and relatively new residents, who have repeatedly clashed at nearly one dozen debates throughout the primary season.With many of the policy arguments regarding development projects on city-owned properties, securing affordable housing, economic development, and environmental protection, candidates are now largely focused on get-out-the-vote activities and reminding voters of the upcoming primary.

“We’re going to be on every corner of the district,” said Kevin Lawler, Council candidate Evan Thies’s campaign manager, explaining there would be no new policy proposals issued this week.“Evan’s friends and family are coming in to help out for the final push.We are calling supporters for last two months, make sure everyone is prepared on Tuesday.”

Steve Levin, another candidate for the 33rd District, has been working 19 to 20 hour days to reach his goal of canvassing 4,000 household doors before the end of the primary.He insists he finds time to eat two meals a day.

“We’re going to be doing the same thing we’ve been doing for the past few months,” said Levin.“I’m making subway stops, to visiting seniors, making phone calls to voters, canvassing door to door in every neighborhood in the district, going to candidate meet and greets, knocking on more doors, and attending debates.”

Kelly Donnelly, campaign manager to Jo Anne Simon, a candidate in the 33rd District who received the New York Times’ endorsement this past weekend, said her office is rallying supporters behind the endorsement and may be planning to send out additional literature in the final days of the campaign.Donnelly believes that the support and hard work of her volunteers will help determine whether Simon wins on election day.

“In addition to Jo Anne speaking directly to the men and women of the district, our main focus is to send our volunteers out to share with voters why they personally support Jo Anne,” said Donnelly.“We are lucky and proud to have the supporters we have and are grateful for alltheir help throughout this campaign.”

Council candidate Isaac Abraham, a Williamsburg activist, has been putting up posters and sending new mailers to residents of his Williamsburg neighborhood, while Council candidate Ken Baer has been relentlessly canvassing the northern sections of the district and Council candidate Ken Diamondstone has been similarly making phone calls and collecting endorsements from legislators, including State Senator Tom Duane (D-Manhattan).

Perhaps the most off-the-beat campaign activity that has occurred in the last week is Council candidate Doug Biviano, a civil engineer, illuminated his campaign office sign with a solar panel.

“The reason why you don’t have solutions like this is you don’t have engineering know how and instead you have corrupt people in the government funneling money back into the real estate industry.”

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