John D. Calandra

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John D. Calandra, Jr. (August 8, 1928 — January 20, 1986)[1] was a New York State Senator from the Bronx and chairman of the Bronx Republican Party. He grew up in the neighborhood of 'Villa Avenue' in the Bronx, belonging to St. Phillip Neri Church. A lawyer and former United States Attorney, Calandra ran unsuccessfully for the State Senate in 1962 and 1964, losing both times to Democrat Joseph Marine.[2][3]

In 1965, he was elected by defeating Democrat James J. Farrell after the senatorial districts were redrawn to favor Republican candidates.[4] In 1967, Calandra ran for Bronx District Attorney, but lost. In the New York State Senate, he rose to the rank of majority whip. He served in the State Senate until his death in 1986, aged 57, after suffering a series of heart attacks. He also served as chairman of the Bronx County Republican Party from 1970 until his death.[5]


His widow, JoAnn Calandra, ran in a special election to take over his Senate seat in April 1986, but she was defeated by Guy Velella.[6] In 1996, Calandra's son, John J. Calandra, an attorney, ran for the Assembly in the Bronx, but was soundly defeated by incumbent Democrat Stephen B. Kaufman.[citation needed]


The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, which is located in Manhattan but under the aegis of Queens College, New York City is named in Calandra's honor.

The John D. Calandra Lodge #2600 of the Order of Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) is named after him, and was founded in 1986, based out of Yonkers, NY.

Public School 14 is named after Sen. Calandra, it's called 'The Senator John D. Calandra School', located at 3041 Bruckner Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10461 in the neighborhood of Pelham Bay.


  1. ^ Profile at
  2. ^ "Vote in City for State Senate and Assembly", New York Times. November 8, 1962, p. 25
  3. ^ "The Vote in New York City for State Senate and Assembly", New York Times. November 4, 1964, p. 24
  4. ^ Madden, Richard L., "Assembly is Close", New York Times. November 3, 1965, p. 1
  5. ^ Obituary in the New York Times
  6. ^ JoAnn Calandra defeated by Guy Velella
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Owen Begley
New York State Senate, 38th District
Succeeded by
Jay Rolison
Preceded by
Jerome Schutzer
New York State Senate, 33rd District
Succeeded by
Abraham Bernstein
Preceded by
John E. Flynn
New York State Senate, 34th District
Succeeded by
Guy Velella