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Schulman to challenge Koslowitz on Working Families line

TimesLedger Newspapers

Community Board 6 member Lynn Schulman gave Queens Democratic Party-supported Karen Koslowitz a run for her money in the race for City Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s (D-Forest Hills) seat last month in the primary.

Now Schulman is poised to take her on again in the general election as she gears up to run on the Working Families Party line.

“They had endorsed me a long time ago, so I was going to be on the line regardless,” Schulman said. But she noted after the primary that she was approached by a number of people who thought there would be a runoff between the top Council contenders.

Koslowitz, who held the Council seat for 11 years until 2001, took in 1,834 votes, or 25.89 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the city Board of Elections. Schulman came in second with 1,593 votes, or 22.49 percent of the vote.

Heidi Harrison Chain, president of the 112th Precinct Community Council, received 1,347 votes, or 19 percent.

On Monday, Koslowitz was endorsed by all her other primary opponents: Chain, Mel Gagarin, Michael Cohen and Albert Cohen.

“This is democratic process and everybody involved respects that,” said Koslowitz’s campaign manager, Greg Lavine. “Karen won a hard-fought primary and because of her past work as a council member plus her work as deputy borough president ... we are confident on Nov. 3 that Karen will once again get elected to the City Council.

Schulman believes she has her work cut out for her.

“Getting elected on a different party line is very much a challenge,” she said. “But I want to make the effort because I think it’s important for the community to at least have a choice. There were very few people that came out to vote for the primary, which was unfortunate.”

Just how much help the Working Families Party will be able to give Schulman remains to be seen. The organization was involved in the successful Democratic primary wins of John Liu, Bill de Blasio, Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer among others.

“I think it’s something we’re figuring out in the course of the next couple of weeks here,” spokesman Bryan Collinsworth said.

Schulman cited the victories of Liu for comptroller and de Blasio for public advocate as encouraging signs.

“All of a sudden people who weren’t that tuned into the Working Families Party now know the Working Families Party, so there’s a heightened awareness and I think that’s a plus,” she said.

Shulman had raised $204,043 in combined private and public matching funds and spent $169,181 by the most recent city Campaign Finance Board filing deadline Oct. 2. Koslowitz had raised a combined $283,855 and spent $191,259 during the same period.

District 29 covers Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and parts of Richmond Hill, Maspeth and Elmhurst.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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