Pol Position; Queens Surrogate – The Need For Speed

Cassandra Johnson and Wendy Li are vying for the Queens Surrogate post. Johnson is turning heads, most recently appearing before Rockaway’s Community Board 14 to speak about the job of the Surrogate Court. She spoke quite eloquently about how the court’s job is to be fair and quick in the disposition of cases. What’s interesting is how Wills and Estates attorneys tell us that the Queens Surrogate division is the slowest of the county courts in NYC.  Whoever takes the seat, we can only hope Queens is not at the bottom any longer. Johnson got some pretty vocal support from the crowd in Rockaway. It’s a bit tricky for judges to campaign. Rules prohibit giving pledges or promises, so it’s someone difficult to ‘judge’ them. But the Queens County Bar Association didn’t hold back. While giving Johnson a ‘Qualified” rating, its Judiciary Committee gave a rating to Li as “not-approved.”  Of all the candidates for judgeship in Queens Li was the only one ‘not-approved.’ “What that means,” a source at the Queens County Bar tells us, “…. Is that they endorse Johnson too, maybe after a whole lot of pressure, but they want her to win.” While Judge Johnson is the County Democratic Party choice Li, a judge of Asian decent, says she wants to make the court more accessible and diverse.

Li has the support of Hiram Monserrate, who POL Position readers in Queens know has a pretty strong following in the areas of Corona, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst, where he, himself is on the primary ballot to replace the retiring Jeff Aubrey in the State Assembly. Larinda Hicks, the County Democratic Party choice for that seat, is out of ELMCOR. Our Pol Position staff took a tour of Corona’s Roosevelt Avenue in March after a call from Monserrate and after reporting on our experience …. low and behold, there were two back-to-back sweeps by authorities to mitigate the obvious prostitution, illegal street ‘merchandise’ vendors and illegal ‘food’ vendors.  You gotta love a politician who hits the streets. While Monserrate is quite popular in the area his conviction is a domestic abuse episode sidetracked his career a few years ago and he’s betting people will forgive and forget.

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