By JENN KUFA
Voters in northern Queens decided Tuesday night to send yet another member of the Vallone family to the City Council.
Paul Vallone, son of former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. and brother of City Council Member Peter Vallone Jr., defeated Republican Dennis Saffran to represent Council District 19, which includes College Point, Bayside, and Little Neck.
With 72 percent of precincts reported, Vallone led with 57 percent of the vote to 42 percent for Saffran.
Although Paul Vallone has little history in city politics, his family has been well respected for years. Vallone is currently the managing director of the Vallone & Vallone law firm. He was previously a member of Community Board 1 and is an active member of the 109th Precinct Council.
Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were among the many politicians who endorsed Vallone, a testament to his family’s influence.
Vallone won the Democratic primary by fewer than 200 votes. The race became closely contested after the previous officeholder, Republican Dan Halloran, resigned after he was arrested in April on corruption charges. Saffran, the only other Republican running, became his party’s nominee.
Halloran said Tuesday that he would cross party lines to vote for Paul Vallone. Halloran said Saffran misled the public by using a photo on his campaign website showing Saffran with Giuliani, who backed Vallone.
The photo Saffran used was tagged with a 2001 quote from the former mayor: “Dennis has worked together with me on many of the measures that have made New York a better and safer place to live, work, and raise our children.”
Giuliani then recorded a robocall in Queens, stating his support for Vallone and calling Saffran’s campaign move “deceptive.”
Saffran has criticized Vallone for not taking stances on several issues. He’s also criticized Vallone, an Astoria native, for using his family’s history as a means to win the election and for not being decisive enough on crime issues.
In his campaign, Vallone has said budget cuts caused crime to rise in the district. He promised to get more funding for his district in northeast Queens in order to correct the crime issue.
Peter Vallone Jr., a Democrat who represents Astoria, ran for Queens borough president but lost to Melinda Katz in the Democratic primary by 10 percentage points.
Photo: Paul Vallone