“Albanese might have the support of the law enforcement union, but I think more law enforcement officers would rather lick the floor of the Ferry Terminal than vote for him,” said Republican Councilmember Joe Borelli. “He’s had more positions than the Kama Sutra.”

David Brand

Signs on Staten Island during the 2021 general election.

Signs for Vito Fossella and David Carr line the lawns of the mansions along Todt Hill Road in Staten Island, leading down a hill to the borough’s GOP headquarters. Inside, local party operatives prepared signs Tuesday morning, discussing interviews and working to get out the vote for Carr in a close race with Sal Albanese, a Democrat who has the endorsement of the PBA.

The two candidates are battling to represent the 50th District, which spans a wide swath across the middle of Staten Island and is one of just three City Council seats currently held by Republicans.

Like the Democratic primary there in June, it’s expected to be a tight race: The Council district is home to 39,072 active registered Democrats and 36,185 active registered Republicans, according to the Board of Elections. Carr is current Councilmember Steven Matteo’s chief of staff.

Read more coverage on the upcoming 2021 NYC elections here.

“Albanese might have the support of the law enforcement union, but I think more law enforcement officers would rather lick the floor of the Ferry Terminal than vote for him,” said Republican Councilmember Joe Borelli. “He’s had more positions than the Kama Sutra.”

Borelli himself is running for reelection in nearby District 51, which covers the southern half of the borough, facing off against Democrat and public school teacher Olivia Drabczyk. In that district, Republicans have a stronger foothold: It’s home to 47,301 active GOP members compared to 33,396 Democrats.

Down the street from the borough’s Republican headquarters, New Dorp resident Gina Costanza, a public school teacher, talked with City Limits on the stoop of her home. Costanza says she’ll likely vote for Conservative Party mayoral candidate Bill Pepitone, and that her most important issue is “personal choice”—she’s not vaccinated because she has gastrointestinal issues, she says, and doesn’t trust the safety of the COVID vaccines.

“I’ll never get it. Maybe 10 years from now,” she said, adding that she was tested “every other day” in order to enter the delivery room for her grandchild’s birth. “I would keep doing that. I want to get tested every week.”

Costanza has a big sign out front of her home, facing a busy street, in support of Vito Fossella, a Republican and former Staten Island congressman whose political career was derailed after a drunk driving arrest and extramarital affair in 2008. He’s now running for borough president, facing off against Democrat Mark S. Murphy, a realtor who unsuccessfully ran for Congress against Michael Grimm in 2012. Leticia M. Remauro is also running for BP on the Conservative Party line.

In total, Staten Island is home to 131,209 active registered Democrats, 98,773 active registered Republicans and 4,494 Conservatives, according to BOE data. The borough’s last three borough presidents were Republicans or Conservative.

As of 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, 265 people had voted at Staten Island Tech in Council District 50, including lifelong Staten Islander Andrew Pierce, 33. He planned to vote Democrat down the line, and said he expects Albanese to pull it out with a pro-police message that appeals to working class voters.

“He’s pro-NYPD and he’s a Democrat… until recently I thought he was a Republican,” said Pierce, a tech worker.

Hadijah Kagolo, who runs a service agency for people with disabilities and also voted at the school Tuesday, told City Limits she voted for Albanese, as well as Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams.

“I’m a Democrat and I mostly support their positions,” she said. “Everybody thinks this is a Republican island, but we’re here.”

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *