Leroy Comrie has been serving Queens as deputy borough president for about a year, but he’s getting ready to return to an arena he’s more familiar with.
He is starting his bid as the new state senator of the 14th District of Queens covering Jamaica, Queens Village, St. Albans and Hollis. Borough President Melinda Katz and her staff said goodbye to Comrie last week and praised him for the work he did there.
Katz mentioned his tireless work ethic on behalf of the people of Queens and thanked Comrie for his wise counsel during her first year as borough president. She also mentioned that she believes he will do an outstanding job for his new, smaller group of constituents.
Comrie served as a public figure in southeast Queens from 2002-2013 as councilman for the 27th District, which covers St. Albans, Jamaica, Hollis and Cambria Heights. In 2013, he ran for the borough president’s seat in Queens but later dropped out. When Katz won her seat she hired him as the second-in-command as the deputy borough president, a position he held until his nomination for state Senate in April.
Comrie defeated incumbent state Sen. Malcolm Smith, whose political career took a turn for the worse after he was hit with federal charges for trying to bribe his way into the 2013 mayoral election as a Republican candidate. Comrie defeated Smith in the September primary for the Senate seat and ran unopposed in the November general election.
Comrie, a Democrat, will take his seat in the Republican-controlled state Senate as of Jan. 1. The 63-seat branch of the Legislature will now house 32 Republicans and 31 Democrats, making it more challenging for Democrats like Comrie to press their agenda in Albany.
Comrie’s commute to work — he’ll now have to travel to Albany when the Legislature is in session — is only one of several trade-offs he’ll make by going from the borough president’s office to the Senate. He’ll take a hit in the pocketbook too, trading his $135,000 deputy borough president salary for the base salary of $79,500 as a state senator.
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