The 2009 race for City Comptroller just got a little more crowded with another Queens candidate throwing his name into the mix.
City Councilmember John Liu, who originally flirted with running for Public Advocate, sang a different tune over the weekend when he officially announced he was joining fellow Queens Councilmembers David Weprin and Melinda Katz and Brooklyn Councilmember David Yassky in a bid to succeed current Comptroller Bill Thompson in November’s election.
“I’ve always expressed the desire to serve in a citywide capacity and would be tremendously privileged if the voters of New York City would have me,” Liu said. “Now that it is 2009 and we’re six months away from the election, I thought very deeply about what I wanted to do and what I feel I can do best for the people of New York.”
Liu, who has represented Flushing in the City Council since 2001 when he became the first Asian Pacific American to be elected in New York City, believes that his financial background from working as a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as his experience dealing with municipal budgets make him the best candidate for the job.
Meanwhile, Liu’s surprise announcement has not been received enthusiastically by members of the Queens Democratic Organization or the two candidates from Queens who he is running against.
“Working New Yorkers demand the same level of stewardship in the Office of Comptroller that they exercise in their own households, sitting around the kitchen table making tough decisions about their families’ priorities and finances,” Katz said. “They deserve a Comptroller who respects and champions this position for the importance that it holds, not someone who views it as a second choice.”
However, Liu said he never officially announced that he was running for Public Advocate, and he spoke about not running against the others as much as running for the Comptroller post.
“I’m not running against anybody,” Liu said. “I’m running for this position and over the next six months we will have many opportunities hopefully to debate the issues and discuss our positions.”
In addition, Liu said he was not concerned about having three of the four candidates from the same borough vying for the position.
“I am confident of winning a great deal of support from my fellow Queens residents as well as people from throughout the city,” Liu said.
In other Queens political news, Borough President Helen Marshall, who is seeking a third term in her position, could face a challenge from Queens small business owner and former teacher Dave Kerpen. Kerpen, who heads the marketing company theKbuzz, announced over the weekend that he is forming an exploratory committee to determine whether he should challenge Marshall in November.
“If I run for Borough President it won’t be to cut ribbons and drive through the streets in a chauffeured car,” Kerpen said. “I’ll run to cut through corruption and cronyism, and return Queens to the nearly two and a half million people it belongs to.”