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Shahinfar Badly Defeated in New York Primary Race

Source: Iran Times

Darius Shahinfar was badly defeated last Tuesday as he sought the Democratic nomination for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from upstate New York.

Shahinfar, making his first bid for public office, came in fourth in a five-person race.  The fifth candidate had not made a serious run.

The primary was won by Paul D. Tonko, a former state legislator and probably the best known of the candidates locally.  Tonko raised the least money of the four serious candidates and appeared to rely heavily on his name recognition and positive reputation in the region.

Tonka won 39 percent of the vote, followed by Tracey Brooks with 30 percent, Phillip Steck with 18 percent, Shahinfar with 10 percent and Joseph Sullivan, who did not mount a serious campaign, with just 1 percent.

In terms of funding, Tonko raised $308,000. Brooks, $565,000, Steck $450,000 and Shahinfar $321,000.  Sullivan failed to file a fund-raising report with the Federal Election Commission.

The primary election was to chose Republican and Democratic candidates to contest the House seat this November in the 21st Congressional District of New York.  That district includes the cities of Albany and Schenectady.

The district is heavily Democratic, so the winner of the Democratic primary is almost guaranteed to win the seat in November.

The seat is an open one because the Democratic incumbent is retiring.

Shahinfar was born in the United States to an Iranian father and an American mother.  He actively sought the support of the Iranian-American community and won the backing of the Iranian-American Political Action Committee, headed by Hassan Nemazee, who was a major fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Shahinfar graduated from Bates College in Maine with a degree in American history.  He went on to get a law degree and became an Albany County deputy attorney.

Shahinfar was the second Iranian-American to face the voters this year-and the second to lose.  Last month, in a primary in Washington state, Susan Amini came in third in a three-person non-partisan primary for an open judgeship on the Superior Court in King County, which includes Seattle.

The Iran Times is aware of four Iranian-Americans running for election on the November ballot, all in California.

They are Ross Mirkarimi, who is running for re-election to the 11-member Board of Supervisors in San Francisco County, Ahsha Safai, who is seeking to join him on the San Francisco board, Farid Javandel, who is seeking re-election to the city council in Albany, California, a community of 18,000 on the east side of San Francisco Bay, and Farrah Douglas, 58, who is seeking a first-time seat on the city council in Carlsbad, California, a community of 100,000 about 30 miles north of San Diego.

Mirkarimi is American-born; the others were all born in Iran and emigrated to the United States.




Ross Mirkarimi was elected in 2004 as one of 11 county supervisors of San Francisco county, population 750,000.  He is up for re-election this year.


Farrah Douglas is one of three candidates running in the November election for a seat on the city council in Carlsbad, California.  Born and educated in Iran, she married an American working there.  The family moved to California at the time of revolution.  Carlsbad, 30 miles north of San Diego, has a population of 100,000.


Ahsha Safai is seeking  a seat on the 11-member Board of Supervisors in San Francisco.  See accompanying story.


Farid Javandel is a Council Member (Term November 2004 to 2008) in Albany, California, a community of 18,000 on the east side of San Francisco Bay. He is seeking re-election for another term.

About Iran Times:
The Iran Times is an independent newspaper with no affiliation with any political party or faction The Iran Times corporation was founded in Washington D.C. in 1970, in accordance with U.S. federal and local regulations:

... Payvand News - 09/23/08 ... --

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