If Jesse L. Jackson has coattails, Simeon Golar means to ride them all the way to Washington.
Golar, a black real estate developer, is challenging Rep. Joseph P. Addabbo (D-N.Y.) Tuesday in one of the liveliest congressional primaries in the country. The southern Queens district became 65 percent non-white after a 1982 reapportionment, leaving Addabbo, a 24-year veteran of Congress, the only white representing a district with a black majority in the state.
Caught off guard, Addabbo barely survived Golar's first challenge two years ago. And Jackson's overwhelming victory here in the April presidential primary -- he carried Addabbo's district 2 to 1 over Walter F. Mondale -- confirmed suspicions that one of New York's most powerful politicians was in trouble.
Traveling here on Labor Day to endorse Golar, Jackson told 2,000 cheering supporters, "If you, who live in a district that's 65 percent black, will not send this qualified man to Congress, then we'll have to draw a circle around Queens, because there's something wrong with you."
Backed by the muscle of the Queens Democratic machine, Addabbo has rallied most of the district's black politicians and its influential black clergy. He has spent $700,000, he said, compared with Golar's $200,000, and has assembled a bevy of consultants and pollsters who predict that Addabbo will win Tuesday's primary with 60 percent of the vote.
A primary win insures victory in the November election in this solidly Democratic district.
At the Allen Senior Citizen center recently, Addabbo rocked in time to the gospel singing of elderly black residents, then bounced around the room hugging and kissing the women and greeting dozens of constituents by name.
Reminding them of his chairmanship of the defense appropriations subcommittee, he said, "That's the most important thing, my beautiful seniors," and asserted that his efforts to cut President Reagan's defense budget will mean more money for Social Security and Medicare.
Although Golar accuses Addabbo of failing to "bring home the bacon," the minister who shepherded the Allen housing project through the federal bureaucracy was on hand to remind the senior citizens that Addabbo has done just that over his 12 terms.
"When we went to Washington in 1976, we only had a commitment to build 100 units," said the Rev. Floyd Flake, head of Allen AME church, one of the city's largest black congregations. After Addabbo called in federal housing officials, "We got 300 units, and that's why many of you are here," he added.
Hugging the congressman, the minister asked his audience, "You understand what that means?"
"Yes!" came the answer.
Late last week, eight people who had been Jackson delegates at the Democratic National Convention endorsed Addabbo.
As one of them, Thomas White Jr., put it, "It's contradictory of us to divest ourselves of power . . . . It's very important that we not be sidetracked by changing the Rainbow Coalition into a 'blackbow.' "
Golar, who said he has spent more than $150,000 of his own money on the race, dismisses Addabbo's black supporters as being on the "plantation" of the Queens machine.
"Since slavery, there were always black folk around to sell other black folk out," he said.
An imposing figure at 6 feet 5 inches tall, Golar, a former city housing authority chairman, earned his way through New York University law school by working nights in a subway tollbooth. A New York Times editorial last week called him "an able, articulate man of unusual breadth," but endorsed Addabbo, citing the congressman's political "muscle."
Golar contends that with 20,000 new registered voters in the district, most of whom turned out for Jackson, "I'm going to win, unless they steal the election." He went to court Thursday demanding to inspect voting machines and arguing that numerous ballot "irregularities" might have denied him victory in 1982.
Although Addabbo is a liberal who has sought to rein in the defense establishment, Golar has made an issue of the more than $175,000 in campaign contributions the congressman has received from the defense industry.
At Springfield Gardens housing project last week, Louise Hubbard said she heard Golar speak at her church. "Addabbo has been in there quite a while," she said. "He doesn't seem to do much for us."
However, only 14 people out of 300 invited showed up at a Golar fund-raiser Thursday night.
"We're fighting political powerlessness," Golar told them. "That's what this race is all about."