As general election nears, Liu opens campaign office
by Benjamin Fang
Oct 10, 2018 | 164 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State Senate candidate John Liu with two supporters at his new campaign office.
State Senate candidate John Liu with two supporters at his new campaign office.
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Come Tuesday, November 6, voters in northeast Queens will see four names on the ballot for the 11th Senate District.

John Liu, who topped incumbent Tony Avella in September, will be on the Democratic line. Vickie Paladino, who defeated Simon Minching, will represent the Republicans.

But despite their loses, Avella and Minching will also appear on the ballot. Avella secured the Independence Party and Women’s Equality lines, while Minching will be the Conservative Party nominee.

Liu, a former city comptroller and councilman, isn’t phased by the competition. As he kicked off his general election campaign in Bayside on Friday, Liu repeatedly said “the more, the merrier.”

“A four-person field makes my strategy a lot easier,” he said at his campaign office opening. “This is a Democratic year. Democratic voters and independent voters who are Democratic-minded are energized.

“They are galvanized, they are pissed off,” Liu added. “They’re going to come out to vote in large numbers to voice their protest against what’s happening in Washington, and to work toward making New York the true blue state that it is.”

Still, the Democratic nominee is not taking anything for granted. He enlisted the help of more than 100 community members and supporters, who showed up to his campaign kickoff, joining a dozen elected officials.

“There’s too much at stake, I’m not leaving anything to chance,” Liu said. “We have to campaign really hard. I’ll be out there knocking on doors and calling people.”

Bayside Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, who faces his own Republican opponent, said he wants Liu in the State Senate to help pass gun reform, increase education funding, and fight for the Reproductive Health Act.

“We’ve been frustrated year after year because it’s passed in the Assembly but not the Senate,” he said.

Liu, who launched his campaign late in the summer but capitalized on the grassroots energy sweeping the Democratic Party, said they already saw “a tremendous spike in turnout” for the primary.

“I have every expectation that that spike will also manifest itself on November 6 in the general election,” he said.

On Monday, Avella announced in a statement that he will continue his campaign for re-election. Families for Tony Avella, a local group of supporters, has already hosted a rally asking Avella to run again.

“Although I was disappointed in the results of the Democratic Primary, I have been astounded by the level of support I have received since then from all aspects of our community,” Avella said. “They and others from all political perspectives have asked me not to give up the fight but to continue to campaign for them.”

The incumbent said his supporters feel Paladino lacks government experience and knowledge on local issues. He also blasted Liu as “disgraced and scandal ridden.”

Avella urged all of his supporters to vote for him on the Independence Party or Women’s Equality Party lines.

“Our future quality of life depends on it,” he said.
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