By CONNOR SYRACUSE
Democratic incumbent Vincent Gentile won re-election Tuesday in the race for City Council in a district covering parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst.
With 93 percent of the votes counted, he led Republican John Quaglione with 63 percent of the vote to 35 percent, winning easily in neighborhoods that sometimes elect Republicans.
Gentile was elected in 2003 in a special election after serving three terms in the State Senate. He ran with a long list of union endorsements, including the United Federation of Teachers and the police unions.
Quaglione is the deputy chief of staff and press secretary for Sen. Marty Golden, who formerly held the Council seat. A Republican, he also ran on the Conservative and Independence Party lines.
After leaving the polls today, Matthew Robicelli, owner of Robicelli’s bakery in Downtown Brooklyn, said he supported Gentile. “I voted for Vinny because I’ve never seen a politician care more about his community,” said Robicelli. “Owning a small business in Brooklyn is very hard and bringing it back to Bay Ridge was a hard decision but having Vinny on our City Council helps — he always supports small business and helping the neighborhood businesses to have a shot at growing.”
In three heated debates, the candidates battled over who would bring more city funding to the district. Quaglione said the district had been first in city funding when Golden was the Council member, but that it had fallen to next-to-last.
Gentile countered that the district receives less money because other districts require funding for public housing, drug clinics and homeless shelters.
Gentile also said that he kept his integrity intact because he refused to vote to raise the property tax or put tolls on the East River bridges – at the cost of more possible funding for the district.
“I won’t sell out my district to get a few extra shekels from the Speaker,” Gentile at an Oct. 7 debate. “To sellout for that small pot? Never, never will I sell out.”