Liu in historic comptroller victory

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Queens City Councilmember John Liu became the first Asian American elected to citywide office in New York with a resounding victory in the race for City Comptroller.

Liu, a Democrat who has represented Flushing in the City Council for the past eight years, trounced Republican opponent Joseph Mendola and three other opponents running on other lines by receiving 76 percent of the overall vote to Mendola’s 19 percent.

“The significance of my victory tonight is not lost on me … indeed, this is an historic night for New York City and a milestone for Asian Americans across the nation,” Liu said on Tuesday night. “I’m truly humbled.”

Liu, who ran an aggressive, five-borough campaign, emerged as the Democratic nominee for the city’s chief fiscal officer position after surviving a run-off with Brooklyn City Councilmember David Yassky in the Democratic primary in September. During his campaign, Liu talked about eliminating waste and fraud from the city’s budget, safeguarding the city’s pension fund and making sure that the stimulus funds are being used properly as his top priorities when he enters office.

“I stand here extremely optimistic about the opportunity to bring change to New York City and the economic outlook for our future,” Liu said on Tuesday night.

Shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 3, Liu entered St. John Vianney Church in Flushing with his wife Jenny and eight-year-old son Joey to cast his vote.

Liu said if he was fortunate enough to be elected Comptroller, he would use his professional background in finance combined with his deep understanding of city government and hit the ground running in his new position.

“Most of all, I want to thank every voter who cast a ballot for me…I consider the trust you have placed in me truly sacred, and I will work every day to live up to your confidence in me,” Liu said.