In his 30 years of community service, Robert Holden remembers a time when old-school elected officials reached across party lines for the good of their constituents. Today, everything has changed and that is one of the main reasons he is running to unseat City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale), who is seeking her third term representing District 30 covering Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale and Ridgewood.
“I don’t like the atmosphere now,” Holden said. “There’s so much vitriol now. It’s so bad. Everything is left or right and there is no middle ground. We have to elect leaders that are better at getting people together. Elizabeth Crowley is just fanning the flames of that polarization.”
When Holden announced in April that he would challenge Crowley, the retired college professor knew he would be going up against the Queens Democratic Machine, and that he was ready for what he called “their smear tactics.” But even Holden was surprised when negative campaign mailers were sent out depicting him as a Republican supporter, and featuring a photo of him accepting a lifetime achievement award in March at the Queens Village Republican Club’s annual Lincoln’s Dinner.
“What is a good Democrat, one that hates Republicans?” Holden said in an interview with the TimesLedger staffers. “Don’t we have enough of that in this country? I think you work with both parties. I can work with anyone who is pro-community. She’s gone to the extreme left and I’m a moderate Democrat, conservative on some things and progressive on others. I was never a part of a political club being labeled a Democrat or a Republican. I’m a civic guy, a community guy. You have to work with both parties for the good of the community. I know I can do a better job than her, I know it. I work everyday with people who couldn’t get help from Crowley’s office.”