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Labor Union Leader Wins Primary for Jamaica City Council Seat

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | September 11, 2013 9:07am
 I. Daneek Miller wins Democratic primary for the Council District 27 seat.
I. Daneek Miller wins Democratic primary for the Council District 27 seat.
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QUEENS — I. Daneek Miller, a labor union head, came in first in a crowded field of candidates in the Democratic primary for the City Council seat that was held for years by Leroy Comrie.

Miller, president of the Queens chapter of the Amalgamated Transportation Union, who was endorsed by the term-limited Comrie, captured 24.4 percent of the vote for the Council District 27 seat, which includes Jamaica, St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights and portions of Queens Village, Rosedale, and Springfield Gardens.

Miller, a Southeast Queens resident for 35 years, was backed by a number of unions, including The Uniformed Fire Officers Association, 1199 SEIU, Transport Workers Union Local 100 and 32BJ SEIU.

According to his website, he “wants to improve public education and empower teachers with the resources and tools they need to educate our children and grandchildren.” Miller is also planning to “introduce participatory budgeting to the 27th District.”

Miller is almost assured of capturing this seat because there is no Republican candidate on the November general election ballot.

Clyde Vanel, an intellectual property lawyer, received 21.8 percent of the vote, Joan Flowers, an attorney, who served as an aide state Sen. Malcolm Smith, got 21.3 percent.

Manuel Caughman, who has worked as a community liaison for state Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-St. Albans), and has been endorsed by the Queens County Democratic Party, captured 17.2 percent of the vote. Gregory Mays, a member of Community Board 12, who founded the nonprofit A Better Jamaica, took 11.3 percent and Sondra Peeden, who is currently an aide to City Councilman Ruben Wills, received 4 percent of the vote.

Rory Lancman won the Democratic primary for the council District 24 seat, currently held by outgoing Councilman James Gennaro, who is term-limited. Lancman, a former state assemblyman who in 2012 ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives,  picked up 61.7 percent of the vote in the district that includes Briarwood, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, and portions of Jamaica.

Lancman's opponent, Briarwood community activist Andrea Veras, got 21.1 percent of the vote, and Mujib Rahman, who is self-employed, earned 17.2 percent.

In November, Lancman will face Republican Alex Blishteyn, a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law.