By QJL Staff
Last week (and continuing this week), we published an election guide by Sergey Kadinsky featuring candidates in many local races. Among the feedback we received was that the Republican candidates did not get the same depth of coverage as the Democratic candidates, and that the guide favored the Democrat candidates in general. To offer a more balanced view, we present this guide to the Republican candidates.
Joe Pinion, US Senate. Incumbent: Sen. Charles Schumer
Joe Pinion is currently a popular host on Newsmax TV, and prior was a known conservative pundit and token voice on CNN. A graduate of Horace Mann High School in the Bronx and Colgate University in upstate New York, Pinion became a successful entrepreneur. Early on, Pinion served as director of youth development at the Morris Heights Health Center, working in one of New York’s most disadvantaged communities. This work has driven him to make fighting for better conditions in poor neighborhoods and solving inner city issues through freedom-based solutions a key part of his career.
Pinion is also active with DeployUS, an organization promoting non-governmental solutions to solving environmental problems in a bi-partisan manner, and RepublicEn a conservative environmental group. Of note, Pinion supports a federal investigation into how New York handled nursing homes during COVID; additionally, he opposes COVID mandates. Pinion is considered a moderate who supports generally conservative fiscal policies and is very pro-Israel. The candidate opposes President Biden’s massive spending bills and opposes AOC’s Green New Deal. Moreover, he supports a border wall and more border patrol agents to solve the crisis at the border. Other ideas he supports are energy expansion to lower energy prices while increasing American Energy Independence. Pinion is a supporter of law enforcement and strong laws to fight crime, earning him several police union endorsements.
Michael Henry, NYS Attorney General. Incumbent: Tish James
Michael Henry is an experienced attorney in commercial litigation, creditor bankruptcy, and PACA Trust law. He also spent time working in the mortgage industry and handled regulatory monitoring and issues with the New York Department of Financial Services on behalf of his employer. Henry deeply understands federal courts, and has a top-notch legal record, including victories that set new legal precedent. He also has represented Chinese dissidents seeking asylum in US Court, helping them obtain legal status. Henry appears regularly on television as a legal analyst.
Henry has a BA from Montclair State University, a master’s degree in international relations from St. John’s University, and a law degree from Touro University. His time at Touro helped introduce him to Jewish community life, and he has been close to the community ever since, placing fighting anti-Semitism as a top priority. Henry is critical of the way AG James has managed the investigation into former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes and wishes to have a thorough investigation. Furthermore, Henry is critical of what he feels is James’ partisan political prosecution of political opponents while protecting her allies.
Paul Rodriguez, Comptroller. Incumbent: Thomas DiNapoli
Paul Rodriguez was born to working class Puerto Rican parents in Queens and was raised solely by a single mother. Rodriguez admirably put himself through college at the University of Georgia by working various jobs until his graduation, when he took a Wall Street position. His career spanned employments at top firms, including Merrill Lynch, UBS, Salmon Brothers, BBVA, and ANZ. Rodriguez worked in the highest echelons of finance, often traveling the globe on behalf of his employers. He is a past Executive Board member of both the Manhattan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Brooklyn-Kings County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Rodriguez brings his financial record to the job of comptroller that controls the states pensions as well as billions in other assets, stating, “The comptroller has a fiduciary duty to allocate state pension assets ethically and prudently to maximize investment returns for pension holders.” The candidate is certain that his experience will help fix the major financial issues affecting pensions that are underfunded by over $200 million with a lack of appropriate transparency.
Tom Zmich, New York’s 6th Congressional District in Queens. Incumbent: Grace Meng
Tom Zmich is a retired construction manager who oversaw multiple major multimillion-dollar government projects. Zmich got his first political experience as a Union negotiator. Zmich is a retired Army Reserves veteran who was deployed in the First Gulf War. He challenged the current incumbent just two years ago, performing better in that race than any prior Republican. In 2021, the Republican Party and former President Donald Trump encouraged Zmich to again seek the office.
Zmich has a platform calling for tax cuts for the middle class, reduction in government spending, and protecting private schools and expanding school choice. He has promised to fight to protect yeshivos from government overreach going to federal legislation if necessary. Zmich is pro-life, has pledged to fight against sex change operations on minors, and earned the endorsement of New York Right to Life. Zmich is also pro-Israel and supports the right of the State to build over the Green Line. He also opposes COVID vaccine mandates, resulting in the endorsement of the Medical Freedom Party. Zmich has promised to fight the ongoing construction of the Kew Gardens jail complex on a federal level if needed. Zmich opposes AOC’s Green New Deal, as well as the removal of former mayor Ed Koch’s name from the 59th Street Bridge, pushing back against those who feel the former mayor lacked strong progressive ideals.
At the height of COVID in 2020, Zmich was a friend to the Jewish community by proving that then-Governor Cuomo’s “Red Zones” were deliberately targeting Orthodox areas using statistics and maps. Notably, a rally of his at the time required the security detail of a dozen NYPD squad cars. Zmich continues to regularly attend Jewish programming. He has been endorsed by both Republican and Democrat elected officials and political groups, and gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin has said that Zmich in Congress is important to Zeldin being able to fix New York.
Seth Breland, Assembly District 25. Incumbent: Nily Rozic
Breland began in politics as a US Senate page, before later landing a job as an intern with Assembly Member David Weprin that lasted three years. He later served as a deputy campaign manager for a City Council race, served six years on the Community District Education Council 26, and works as a tennis instructor.
Breland has made abolishing bail reform and adding funding to the NYPD as a key part of his platform. He also hopes to make birth control over the counter, as a compromise between pro-life and pro-choice factions. In making education another platform staple, Breland touts an expansion of the number of specialized high schools and will work to increase funding and improve the quality of education in the public school system.
Angelo King, Assembly District 27. Incumbent: Daniel Rosenthal
Angelo King is an electrician with two decades of experience and is an active member of the Electrical Union, residing in Kew Gardens Hills’ Electchester Co-operative First Housing in Pomonok. King is a child of Dominican Republic immigrants. As a teen, he spent a year in his country of heritage and witnessed big government corruption firsthand, helping shape his current political views. King is a co-founder of the Central Queens Republican Club, an Orthodox-heavy Republican club that meets monthly at Anshe Sholom Chabad JCC in Kew Gardens, and formerly met in Forest Hills. He has the reputation of a political moderate and is pro-labor; he is not considered a standard Republican. His platform calls for repealing cashless bail, provide extra funding for police, and better services for struggling New York families. King supports removing all COVID-related regulations and opposes any COVID vaccine mandate. Strong anti-crime policies are paramount to King, who is dismayed to hear of small business robberies as crime rages. While King pushes for better funding for schools and public housing, he has made crime the key focus of his platform.
Michael Conigliaro, Assembly District 28. Incumbent: Andrew Hevesi
Michael Conigliaro is a Kew Gardens native, graduate of Richmond Hills High School, and maintains his deep communal roots as he raises his two young daughters. Conigliaro is currently the President of City Education Council 24 and has made education a key campaign focus. Therein, he supports protecting the Special and Gifted Programs currently being removed under “equality legislation” and would like to see an increase in the standards at the public schools. In doing so, he will hold the system overall to higher accountability. He is a board member and legal advisor for Bridge to Life, a pro-life Queens organization.
Conigliaro pledges to help end cashless bail, fight for increased funding for the NYPD, and readily opposes the current construction of the Kew Gardens jail complex. He supports a major reform on taxes for small businesses, dubbed “Main Street Tax Credit,” aimed at helping small and independent businesses thrive. Conigliaro also advocates for a general tax cut across the board for middle class New Yorkers and opposes the current plans for Forest Hills homeless shelters.
Danniel Maio, State Senate District 15. Incumbent: Joseph P. Addabbo
The perennial Republican candidate, Danniel Maio, is an official with the Republican Party of Queens, the Queens Republican Patriots organization, and is a co-founder and President of the Central Queens Republican Club. A mapmaker by profession, Maio has worked for some of the industry’s leaders.
Maio opposes any COVID-related restrictions or mandates and wants an independent commission to review the State’s response with regard to lockdowns, and “Red Zones” and hold those responsible accountable. He supports a repeal of cashless bail, opposes the Kew Gardens jail complex, and supports law enforcement. Maio wants to fight against the rise in crime and make the streets of New York safer. He resists the current congestion pricing plan set for New York City and does not want to see any MTA fare raises. Maio supports a recall for local elected officials to be held accountable to their voters.
Thomas Sullivan, State Senate District 15. Incumbent: Joseph P. Addabbo
Colonel Thomas Sullivan is a 28-year veteran of the US Army and Army Reserves with tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. For the past decade, Sullivan has been running his family’s 82-year-old business and has strong connections in the small business community.
Sullivan supports backing the NYPD with increased funding to fight crime. He wants to see a major property tax reform that helps New York homeowners in New York, making home ownership more affordable. On education, Sullivan will work to restore the Special and Gifted programs in public schools and wants a return to high school placement based on merit. Sullivan visualizes a completion to Hurricane Sandy damage, and a renovation of area beaches.
Ruben Cruz, State Senate District 16. Incumbent: John Liu
Ruben Cruz is a community activist, works as a consultant to help senior centers obtain access to goods and services, and is employed by the Community Agency for Senior Citizens with the State Office of Victim Services for Elder Abuse and Elder Justice. He is also an animal welfare advocate and founder of the Queens Pet Pantry in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare, ASPCA, Humane Society, Department of Parks and Recreation, where he distributed pet supplies in Queens parks during the pandemic. Cruz founded the Pattycake Theater program to provide bi-lingual productions in city schools, serves on the boards of the Latin American Intercultural Alliance, Cypress Hills - Fulton St. Senior Center, Artists for Collective Theater, and the Central Queens Republican Club.
Cruz’ platform desires lower sales taxes to help small businesses, an abolishment of all no-bid contracts in the state, and higher accountability for government spending. Fighting to protect seniors from “Deed Stealing” and the creation of a strong legal framework to safeguard the elderly is a main campaign pact. A restoration to clean streets and safer communities is also vital to Cruz.