In an epic turnaround, after getting only 36% of the votes in the September Democratic Primary Election in the 30th Council District, it appears civic activist Robert Holden has turned the tables on incumbent Council member Elizabeth Crowley, as the board of elections has their count at 10,221 votes for Holden and 10,088 votes for Crowley by late Tuesday evening. A source close to the board of elections reported to us that there are 400 to 500 absentee ballots not yet counted, but he noted that it appears Holden was the one who focused on an absentee ballot program, not Crowley.
Holden obviously hit a nerve for voters while campaigning on a platform charging Crowley was corrupt, Maspeth kids need to have priority to get into Maspeth High School and stopping Mayor deBlasio from destroying the district. The Mayor wants to use hotels to house homeless and wants to close Rikers Island, eventually putting jails in our neighborhoods. Holden was out front in the protest at the Maspeth Holiday Inn as it was being used as a homeless shelter, blaming Crowley for not doing enough to protect the neighborhood from the mayor’s homelesss plan. Late in the campaign it was noted that Holden had a hefty social media campaign, targeted digital text messaging and hyper-targeted mailings to get his message across.
After that September democratic primary race, the Queens Republican Party took their ballot designee off the November ballot and replaced him with Holden, who got 8,457 votes on that line. Holden also received more than 1400 votes on the Conservative line and 140 votes o the ‘Dump deBlasio line.
If the numbers hold as they are now, Holden, a lifelong democrat, and president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, will be that rare breed of true civic activist – turned politician, a good sign for helping protect the character of the neighborhood in a city which is turning more centralized by the minute.
While down-zoning, getting more police in the 104th precinct and enforcing traffic laws are on the top of Holden’s to-do list his first real decision might be his political party affiliation.