The day after being released from the hospital for a respiratory infection, and on the eve of his 88th birthday, former Mayor Ed Koch endorsed borough president candidate Melinda Katz, in a race with a crowded Democrat primary.
“I am supporting Melinda Katz for Queens borough president,” Koch said in a statement. “She is the one candidate in the race that raises the level of conversation about balancing economic development with the community in Queens.”
Koch also supported Katz in her run for comptroller three years ago. This is one of the first major endorsements of a candidate thus far.
Katz, a former councilmember and former assemblymember, was the first candidate to officially kick off a campaign in the race for Borough Hall.
She is one of several Democrats vying for the Borough Presidency.
State Senator Jose Peralta officially started his campaign in late October; State Senator Tony Avella announced in November he was running for the spot. Councilmembers Peter Vallone and Leroy Comrie, and Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik, are expected to announce their candidacy as well.
Koch drew upon Katz’s city council record as a prime factor for the endorsement, particularly her work as chair of the council’s Land Use Committee.
“As Chair of the City Council’s Land Use Committee she achieved that balance citywide,” he said. “It is why I supported her for city comptroller in 2009, and why I am supporting her now for Queens borough president in 2013.”
It is still undecided when a primary election will be held.