Munir Avery announced he will be the first challenger for State Senator Malcolm Smith’s seat in the 2014 election.
“I was born and raised in Queens Village, and I want to continue to serve my community. I want to bring the services to my community,” said the attorney.
Smith, who was indicted in April for allegedly trying to bribe his way onto the Republican ticket for mayor, has not publicly decided whether to run again.
Reps for the 13-year Democratic incumbent said he is not going to comment on his challenger.
In the State Senate, Smith caucused with a group of Democrats that govern with Republicans, said Avery.
“Because of that, the Democrats don’t have their chairmanship [in Albany],” he said.
If elected, Avery plans to caucus with the Democrats in order to work and fight for the party’s agenda.
“It’s cleaning up the system,” he said. “That would be the reason I felt the need to run against [Smith].”
Although this is Avery’s first run at office, he is no stranger to politics. He currently is counsel to Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz, and previously worked for the Queens district attorney’s office and on City Council campaigns.
Avery hopes to address various issues surrounding schools, including funding a universal pre-kindergarten, nurturing scholar athletes, and implementing art and after-school programs.
“When I went to public school, we were able to have art, gym,” he said. “I want to see that back in the schools and I’m going to fight for that.”
He also wants to promote open government in Albany and “try to get the big money out,” of which he said Smith has failed to do.