Jan. 20, 2021 By Christina Santucci
Former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley said Tuesday that she is thinking about making another bid for Queens Borough President.
“I feel like I have a lot to offer the borough in terms of what we have to do to get back on our feet,” she said. “I haven’t made the final decision yet, but it is something that I am strongly considering.”
Crowley, who represented Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, parts of Woodside and Woodhaven in the City Council from 2009 to 2017, lost to Queens Borough President Donovan Richards in a June 2020 Democratic primary for the seat.
She came in second in the five-person primary.
Richards then defeated Republican Joann Ariola in the November general election, to fill the remainder of former BP Melinda Katz’s term, which ends Dec. 31.
Crowley said that she would make a decision as to whether she would run prior to Feb. 23, when candidates are able to start collecting signatures to be on the ballot.
She said that she is feeling inspired by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and that the change in national leadership may influence her choice.
“We had a very dark year last year. Our city saw great divisions. We saw sickness, death, unemployment rates like never before,” she said. “Now there is so much more opportunity to move forward and out of this dark time.”
Crowley pointed to several pressing issues in the borough that are weighing on her decision.
“We have to put a plan together that is going to rebuild our economy, strengthen our schools and give good quality health care,” she said. “Those reasons are going into my thoughts right now. I want to make sure that we have our borough moving in the right direction.”
Crowley also cited confusion over the cancellation of a planned March special election for the borough presidency because of the pandemic and problems with absentee voting in June. Citywide, more than 81,000 votes were invalidated due to issues like ballots arriving late and not having a voter’s signature.
“You get better candidates when you have more of a discussion about the issues. If there was no challenge, you won’t have people engaged,” she said.
The June primary for the borough president will be the first election for the seat using ranked choice voting, after it passed through a 2019 ballot measure.
Through this system, voters can rank up to five choices in order of preference. If no candidate earns more than 50 percent of voters’ first choice, then the person with the least amount of votes is eliminated, and that candidate’s tallies are redistributed to voters’ second choices. This process continues until one candidate earns at least 50 percent of the vote.
In June, Richards beat out other candidates with 36 percent of the vote – Crowley received 29 percent, Council Member Costa Constantinides got 18 percent, Anthony Miranda earned 12.5 percent and just under 5 percent went to Dao Yin, according to the New York City Board of Elections.