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Two Candidates Get Big Name Endorsements in Quest for Western Queens Assembly Seat

Candidates Juan Ardila and Johanna Carmona (courtesy of the candidates)

April 25, 2022 By Christian Murray

Two candidates running for the District 37th Assembly seat got big name endorsements over the weekend.

Johanna Carmona was endorsed by Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, while Juan Ardila got the backing of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

Meeks, who is the chairman of the Queens Democrats, made the announcement Sunday and describes Carmona as being “a daughter of Queens” who is committed to “progressive and common-sense legislation” that will improve the quality of life for residents in the district.

“I am proud and excited to endorse Johanna Carmona for New York State Assembly, representing Ridgewood, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Blissville, Woodside, and Maspeth in Albany,” Meeks said.

Johanna Carmona and Gregory Meeks

“Johanna has the real-world experience and street smarts Queens residents need. She has worked on behalf of first responders on 9/11 compensation, stood shoulder to shoulder with survivors of sexual assault and child abuse, and played a critical role in bringing local police officers and community members together to make Western Queens safer.”

The announcement follows on from two other recent endorsements she has secured—with Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, who represents the Forest Hills area, and Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell, who represents the Upper West Side of Manhattan, both backing her campaign.

Carmona, a lifelong Sunnyside resident, also has the support of the incumbent Catherine Nolan, who is not seeking reelection, and the Ridgewood Democratic Club.

Carmona, a lawyer who was an assistant district attorney in the special victims unit with the Kings County District Attorney’s office from 2017-2000, has the backing of moderate Democrats and the party establishment.

The announcement of the Meeks’ endorsement comes at the same time that Ardila announced that he has been endorsed by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

Jessica Ramos, Juan Ardila, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Donovan Richards and Catalina Cruz (L-R) at a campaign event for Ardila earlier this month (Instagram @juanardilanyc)

“Juan Ardila has always been a passionate advocate for the community,” Richards said in a statement. “He is a leader who understands the need for protecting tenants, expanding healthcare and fixing the climate crisis here in Queens. I’m excited to support Juan for Assembly because I know he will be a strong champion for progress in Albany.”

Ardila has the backing of many left-wing Democrats, such as State Sen. Jessica Ramos, Council Members Tiffany Cabán and Jennifer Gutiérrez, Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, the Working Families Party, New York Immigration Action, Make the Road Action among others.

Ardila is a staffer at the Legal Aid Society and previously worked for then-City Councilmember Brad Lander, who is now Comptroller.

Brent O’Leary (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Brent O’Leary, a Long Island City resident and attorney who is also vying for the seat, said that he has not been endorsed by party leaders or left-wing Democrats.

“I am proud to state we are NOT backed by the county democratic machine nor the extremist left,” O’Leary said in a statement.

“I am a commonsense Democrat with common sense solutions to our rising crime and failing school system. Our campaign is not pushing extremist, out of touch ideas nor are we beholden to the interests of the local machines,” O’Leary said.

O’Leary has been endorsed by the 504 Democratic Club—which represents Democrats with disabilities— and the Asian American Chamber of Commerce which fights for small businesses.

Meanwhile, Jim Magee, a lifelong Sunnyside resident and attorney who is also running, has been endorsed by the New York State Court Officers Union.

Jim Magee going door to door gathering signatures. He secured more than 1,100 signatures to get on the ballot (Photo courtesy of Magee)

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18 Comments

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its quite simple actually

Juan rang on my door bell last night in sunnyside. I asked him directly if he was in favor of closing rikers and did he support bail reform, he answered yes to both question. told him i wont be voting for him or any politician that puts the interest of criminals over the interest of innocent people that want safe clean streets.

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Concerned Citizen

I want the opportunity to say it to his face too. I am glad you did. More people have to.

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Smh

I understand the sentiment to vote for O’Leary. But remember last time the public voted for a “moderate” and got senile leftist Joe and his left wing handlers. If elected, don’t be surprised if he falls in line with the progressive machine that is NYC democrats.

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Concerned Citizen

Are there really that many sheep that can’t do their own research and have to wait on someone like AOC to tell them who to vote for?

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Joe

All common sense people vote for a moderate like Brent O’Leary. Don’t just vote for people because their ethnic group is similar to you. You wouldn’t like it if that was done against your group.

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Bill

Stop voting for racist progressives. They are for nothing but their own power. Their ignorant and unproven ideas will do nothing but divide the city along ethnic lines and solve no problems. The answer is equal opportunity for all. New York City is at a turning point. Vote for people who will bring everyone together not divide us. Excluding some groups for the benefit of others may make some feel better in the short term but hurt all of us in the long term.

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Trump told 2 American-born congresswomen to "go back to your own country" because they were brown

Please provide a list of non-racist Republicans and we’ll vote for them 😂

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Smh

Why don’t you explain the context of why he said it, instead of spreading misinformation? First, it was really 4 congress women. One was not American born. But he did target the very progressives you love so dearly.

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AOC, Ayanna S. Pressley and Rashida Tlaib were born in the US

I agree, all born in the US, all have brown skin, all told to “go back to your own country” by Trump. In “context” he said they “came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe,” accidentally meaning the US 😂

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Smh

Hmmm, you didn’t answer the question on why he said it? I wonder why?

...yes I did answer the question

They said “Why don’t you explain the context,” my reply says “in context.” Scroll up to learn more!

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Why are Trump lovers obsessed with identity politics?

He’s not a Republican, but did he offend your identity politics?

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Jim

Vote for Brent. Vote for Brent. I can’t stand that annoying smiling picture but if none of the obnoxious socialist Democrats are endorsing him that’s good enough for me. The Hispanic politicians in Queens make this a racial issue. It’s not, it’s common sense. Vote for a moderate who wants to help all the people.

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