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Paul Vallone poised to continue the family tradition at City Hall

The closest Council race in Queens is over — and a familiar name has won it.

Paul Vallone — the son of former Council Speaker Peter Vallone and the brother of Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. — has beaten Austin Shafran in the contentious five-way Democratic primary to replace a disgraced Republican lawmaker.

On Primary Night last week, Vallone had apparently beaten Shafran by just 144 votes out of nearly 8,750 cast. After the machines were recounted, that lead narrowed to 134.

But Vallone picked up 182 votes when paper ballots were counted to Shafran’s 123, making his final margin — unofficially, of course, as this is the Board of Elections — 193 votes.

Shafran could not immediately be reached for comment, but Vallone was crowing.

“We look forward to uniting the Democratic Party and winning in November,” said his campaign spokesman Austin Finan.

Vallone will face Republican Dennis Saffran in the general election to replace Councilman Dan Halloran, who declined to run for re-election after being arrested in a bribery scheme. Vallone is the strong favorite in the majority Democratic district.

A victory in November would continue a venerable New York tradition of having a Vallone in the City Council, a practice that goes back to 1974, when Vallone Sr. was elected.

Paul Vallone, however, would represent part of northeast Queens, outside of the family’s long-established Astoria base.

Also-rans in the primary race included Paul Graziano, who finished third with 1,539 votes, John Duane with 1,005 votes and Chrissy Voskerichian with 900 votes.

Vallone received help from the controversial real estate political action committee Jobs for New York which spent more than $320,000 on mailings to boost his candidacy.

The group spent another $44,996 on flyers that criticized Shafran, Graziano and Voskerichian.

See full article at NY Daily News.