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My observations after running for office in 2012

My name is Abe Fuchs and I ran for State Assembly District 25 here in Queens. It covered parts of Kew Garden Hills, Fresh Meadows, South Flushing, Auburndale, Bayside Hills, Oakland Gardens and Little Neck. I lost 25% to Nily Rozic who won by 67% of the vote. There were 2 minor parties who also ran; the Independence Party and the Conservative Party, together equaling about 9%.

None of the Parties besides mine, did much campaigning for the General election. The minor parties couldn't win and the Democratic party by way of my opponent, didn't feel that they had to do much to bag a victory. They were right. Much of NY city is Democratic by default. I, on the other hand, did much to promote my candidacy and the core concepts that my Party stands for, Ala. school choice, small gov't, small-business protection against intrusive regulation and protecting religiously based organizations to exercise their religious beliefs free of gov't interference.

I felt that my platform was reasonable and inclusive of all responsible civic minded positions. I advertised my platform in local media, on my website and in a mailer that went out to 25,000 active voters with extensive information about my positions. My opponent and I both went to civic events to present our views. I took these events seriously to present my views and in my opinion she did not. I had a videographer record the events and anyone is free to see them for themselves by going to YouTube and search for Abe Fuchs or Nily Rozic.

I studied the issues of hydrofracking, education, taxation and regulations for small business. My approach was balanced and fair. Hers, in my opinion, were not thought out and not balanced to both sides.

In the end, I don't really think that people knew much about our local race nor much about the other local races for that matter. Most local Republican candidates were trounced by their Democratic rivals and here in Queens the most competitive Republican candidate, that of Eric Ulrich, still lost by 12 points. To illustrate my point about voters not being familiar with the candidates, I will tell you that even what seemed to be a senior staffer to my opponent did not know who I was when we were both campaigning in front of a polling site, when we struck up a conversation about the campaign. He misstated my position on taxes and other things about my platform. When I told him who I was and corrected him about my positions he practically apologized and said that he didn't mean to be disrespectful. By the time we parted, I had practically won him over to my side but it was too late by then.

People are writing off the Republican Party here in Queens for all positions other than the top offices such as mayor and governor and a few Republican Council seats can sneak in here and there. I quote here from the TimesLedger newspaper written by distinguished writer Bill Lewis interviewing State Chairman leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Long. Lewis writes as follows:

"When asked if he (Michael Long) sees an end to the two-party system in New York City, considering the shrinking number of Republicans elected during the last 30-year period, he said the two-party system ended a long time ago in New York City. He believes that for high public office in the city, a candidate has to be well-known and have considerable financial resources. His two examples were Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, both of whom were first elected mayor as Republicans."

We know that we Republicans, have the right stand on such issues as school vouchers for education, sensible regulations for fracking and non confiscatory taxes on the job producers. Instead, Democrats want us to spend and spend, rack up big debts in the Treasury and Municipal bond markets to be borne by the next generation.

What I found disturbing during my race, was that there was no real inquiry on the part of the press nor was there any real vigorous debating of the local candidates on local University panels or civic events. Even for the U.S. Senate position there was only one debate between Republican contender Wendy Long against incumbent Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Channel One with little viewership. Long, who is a Constitutional lawyer and a well thought out candidate eked out a mere 14% against her opponent in NY city. The top of the ticket Romney-Ryan team, who ultimately set the pace for all the other races, managed in NY city to only get 22% of the vote.

It is said that in Texas a Democrat can't run for dog catcher and if we're honest, we must face the reality that in NY a Republican on the State and most City positions suffers the same fate. I say that for all those with Republican ideals, we must admit that 3/4 of a pie is better than 1/2 a pie. I say that we abandon purist ideals and pick the best Democrat that is offered. In fact we can offer our own candidate to fill the Democratic slot. If all religious Jews or all those registered Republicans and all the non registered would-be Republicans, who heretofore gave up on their vote making a difference would tomorrow switch parties to become Democrats and voted in the Primary of any State or City Council race, we could sway the results of the Primary candidate and thus the ultimate winner. This strategy could win with any candidate, assuming he is respectful and considerate to the overall community. Once he wins the Democratic Primary the game is over!

In my race, for instance, there were only about 4,000 votes cast in the Democratic Primary for Assembly District 25. Jerry Iannece won about 1700 and Nily Rozic won about 2200. If all the members of the Jewish Orthodox community banded together and threw their vote in that Primary, surely they would have swayed that vote to whichever candidate they had wanted. By depending on their vote to sway the General election of about 22,000 is a much higher bar to reach.

Bottom line: We must organize our community to vote in a smart way to achieve the goals that we have as a community. There is no reason why we must be left out in the cold with no one representing our views in Albany or in City Council. If we get people in on the bottom rung of government then there is a reasonable chance that they could climb the ladder to higher government, once the quality and decency of the candidate is exposed for all to see, such as is the fine statesman by the name of now retiring Connecticut Senator, Joe Lieberman.

That is the challenge I pose to the Orthodox community here in Queens and in other boroughs as well.

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