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Paul Vallone gets big nod for council seat from former rival Kevin Kim

Politics is again making strange bedfellows.

Former Democratic primary rivals Kevin Kim and Paul Vallone, who faced off in the bitter 2009 City Council race, may soon hit the campaign trail together as Kim formally endorsed Vallone for the open northeast Queens seat, the News has learned.

Scandal-scarred current Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Bayside) isn’t running for re-election after he was arrested as part of an alleged scheme to rig the Republican primary for mayor. He is free on bail and awaiting trial.

Halloran’s shadow still hovers over the race — as Kim subtly pointed out.

“It’s time to restore honest, Democratic leadership to the 19th City Council District and I can think of no better candidate to do that in this primary than Paul Vallone,” said Kim, a former aide to ex-Rep. Gary Ackerman.

Kim’s support is crucial given that he beat Vallone and several other Democratic candidates in the 2009 primary before losing to Halloran in the general election.

In a statement, Kim urged the people who voted for him in 2009 to support Vallone in the Sept. 10 primary, citing his “strong commitment” to northeast Queens.

Vallone is running in the Democratic primary against Austin Shafran, Paul Graziano, Chrissy Voskerichian and John Duane for the right to face Republican Dennis Saffron.

Kim, who grew up in Bay Terrace, briefly weighed a comeback bid after Halloran’s arrest. He ultimately decided to stay out of the already-crowded primary.

Kim was popular with Asian-American voters – a growing force in the district – but Vallone noted he had widespread support.

“Kevin Kim won in just about every corner of this district, largely due to the fact that he was able to bridge the gap between the various communities,” Vallone said.

See full article at New York Daily News