Donovan Richards expected to announce bid for Queens borough president

Councilman Donovan Richards speaks before the Queens Chamber of Commerce earlier this year.

Southeast Queens Councilman Donovan Richards will likely make official his run for Queens borough president tomorrow afternoon.

Richards will be joined by his family and former Borough President Claire Shulman at noon on Wednesday, October 2 at the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to “make an announcement about the future of Queens.”

When he throws his hat in the ring, he will join a crowded field that includes Jimmy Van Bramer, Costa Constantinides, Paul Vallone, Elizabeth Crowley, Alicia Hyndman and more.

Though Borough President Melinda Katz is term-limited in 2021, Katz, the Democratic candidate for Queens district attorney, is expected to win that race easily in November.

Her victory would then trigger a special election for the borough presidency early next year, likely in February.

Richards, who was first elected to the City Council in March 2013, represents parts of southeast Queens and the Rockaways.

He currently chairs the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety, and was previously the chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection and chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises.

Some of his accomplishments include securing $1.5 billion for sewer infrastructure in southeast Queens, $288 million in investment for the Far Rockaway rezoning, and $70 million for the creation of the 116th Precinct in Rosedale.

Prior to being elected, Richards served as the chief of staff to former City Councilman James Sanders Jr., who was elected to the State Senate in 2013, triggering a special election.

Richards won that special election by less than 1 percent, but went on to handily defeat other Democrats in the primary.

He won the general election in 2013 over Republican Scherie Murray, who is now taking on Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the House of Representatives.

Richards ran unopposed in 2017.


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