Tag Archives: queens county democratic party

Queens Dems endorse John Liu in state Senate race against Tony Avella


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre


Updated 2:30 p.m.

John Liu is ready to challenge state Senator Tony Avella in the primary this September, according to the Queens County Democrats.

The organization unanimously endorsed Liu in the race Monday, Queens County Democrats Executive Secretary Michael Reich said.

The group is backing the former city comptroller over the incumbent after Avella joined the New York state Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a breakaway faction of Senate Democrats who share majority control of the chamber with Republicans, according to Reich.

“I believe that John Liu will not only be a breath of fresh air, but a viable candidate for this position,” Reich said, who likened Avella joining the IDC to “leaving the party.”

After designating Liu during the organization’s meeting this morning, his name can now be included on the county petition, according to Reich. Liu was reportedly not present during the endorsement.

Liu, who was also a city councilman from 2002 to 2009, unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for mayor last year.

During his time as comptroller, he had been the subject of a campaign finance probe. Though he was never accused of any wrongdoing, the city’s Campaign Finance Board (CFB) denied him public matching funds shortly before the primary.

In March, he announced he was suing the (CFB) for withholding the money, claiming that the move “crippled” his chances in the race.

Avella, who has represented the 11th state Senate District since 2011, said he is proud of his record “fighting for the working class residents of Queens.”

“I work for the people I represent — not for the Queens party bosses or political insiders,” he said. “Whether it’s helping our seniors, passing marriage equality, or protecting our environment, I have always fought for the issues that matter most to the people of my district and I look forward to discussing my progressive record in the months ahead.”

 

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Barry Grodenchik drops out of BP race after key endorsement goes to Katz


| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Former assemblymember Barry Grodenchik has ended his borough president bid less than a day after being beat for a key county endorsement.

“The next borough president must focus like a laser on jobs, education, healthcare, economic development and Sandy recovery,” Grodenchik said. “I am proud to have brought those issues to the forefront of the debate. But at this time, I believe that it is in the best interest of my family, team and party to end my candidacy.”

Grodenchik, 53, served as deputy borough president from 2009 to earlier this year, when he stepped down in order to run for BP.

The Queens County Democratic Party endorsed his rival, Melinda Katz, on Monday.

Sources close to the race said the endorsement, coupled with Grodenchik’s exit, was meant to give Katz a much-needed boost over front-runner Peter Vallone Jr. The councilmember leads the race both in polls and in fundraising.

Sources said Grodenchik’s move could also give Katz a better chance of securing key votes from the Orthodox Jewish community, where Grodenchik had strong support.

Katz already has the endorsement of several southeast leaders including the Reverend Floyd Flake, senior pastor of the 23,000-member Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica.

Vallone, chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee, has the support of law enforcement groups including the Detectives Endowment Association, the New York City Fire Marshals Benevolent Association and the NYPD Captains Endowment Association.

Councilmember Leroy Comrie and State Senator Tony Avella are rumored to be thinking of dropping out of the beep race. Neither campaign returned calls for comment.

Political insiders said the county’s leadership has been increasing efforts to hurt Vallone’s chances.

“It’s very obvious that this was an ‘ABV’ choice,” said a Queens political operative, meaning “Anybody But Vallone.”

The Queens County Democratic Party did not immediately comment.

Vallone, often seen as being too vocal, said the recent developments have not hurt his campaign.

“That’s fine,” he said. “As I’ve said from day one, it doesn’t matter. I never expected county support, and it doesn’t matter to me if there are two candidates or 10. I’m still going to be in this until the end, and I intend to win it.”

Queens Democrats unanimously endorse Jerry Iannece for 25th Assembly District


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Jerry Head Shot

Jerry Iannece, who is vying for the 25th Assembly District seat, received a unanimous endorsement by the Queens County Democratic Committee today.

“I am proud to accept the endorsement of the Queens County Democratic Party and excited to continue working hard to protect Queens taxpayers,” Iannece said. “Public service should be about standing up for middle class families to make sure that we expand opportunities for all our citizens. My experience first as a New York City prosecutor and now as chair of Community Board 11 has allowed me to focus on the real world issues our citizens face each and every day.”

Iannece has been a member of Community Board 11 for over 15 years and has served as chair since 2002.

“Whether it was advocating for tax relief for overburdened property owners or making sure our kids have access to a great education, I have worked hard to provide strong leadership for Queens families,” the Bayside resident said. “I look forward to continuing this fight in the weeks and months ahead.”

Iannece announced his intentions to seek election over a month ago. The hopeful has since been endorsed by the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.

The 25th Assembly District seat is currently held by Assemblymember Rory Lancman, who is making a run for Congress.

According to published reports, candidate Nily Rozic will be contending against Iannece during the Democratic primary. No other candidates have officially surfaced yet.