What is not to love about Robert Holden? A professor in the Department of Communication Design at New York City College of Technology, he is a lifetime New Yorker and was entirely educated in the city college system. A photographer and graphic designer with his own design firm, Bob Holden has won awards for civic engagement and teaching. He’s the editor and art director of Juniper Berry Magazine, an all-volunteer community publication founded in 1938 that covers community issues in Maspeth, Elmhurst and Middle Village, Queens. Holden recently led a successful fight to save a historic church targeted by developers. And this community-oriented guy just got elected to City Council from District 30 in Queens, dumping incumbent Elizabeth Crowley.
Again, what’s not to love? Well, since you asked…
Mayor de Blasio, who won an overpowering mandate for a second term, does not love him. Last fall, Holden — a lifetime registered Democrat — primaried Elizabeth Crowley, a cousin of Queens Democratic powerbroker Joseph Crowley, and lost. Fair enough. But then Holden approached the Republican Party, who had no one to run for the seat, and they gave him their ballot line. And he won. As a Republican. With a margin of fewer than 150 votes. While the results will not be certified until November 28, Holden, who was leading Crowley by 133 votes on election night, was pushed over the top when affidavit and absentee ballots were counted. Crowley conceded the seat that she herself had taken from a Republican in 2008 on November 16, and the election is due to be certified right after Thanksgiving.
For the rest of this post, originally published on November 22 2017, go to Public Seminar.