8 The Queens Courier • september 11, 2014 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com politics STAVISKY, MARKEY, SANDERS WIN PRIMARY BY ANGY ALTAMIRANO firstname.lastname@example.org @aaltamirano28 Three incumbent Queens elected officials have easily taken the win in the Democratic primary. State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, who was first elected to the state Senate in 1999 and is the only female member of the state Senate from Queens, won the race with 4,981 votes, holding onto 57.3 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. The Forest Hills resident ran against S.J. Jung, a Flushing resident, activist and president of the MinKwon Center for Community Action. Assemblywoman Margaret Markey also won the primary with 1,880 votes and 75.2 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. She has represented the 30th Assembly District, comprised of Maspeth, Woodside and parts of Long Island City, Middle Village, Astoria and Sunnyside, since 1998. In the race for the 10th District, state Sen. James Sanders Jr., who was elected in 2012, took the win with 5,898 votes and 74.5 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. In other statewide elections, incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo easily defeated his two competitors at 62.1 percent with 98.3 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. His running mate, lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul, also took the win with 59.9 percent of the votes. Incumbent Tony Avella wins state Senate race against John Liu BY ERIC JANKIEWICZ @ericjankiewicz email@example.com State Sen. Tony Avella won the primary for the 11th state Senate district against his challenger John Liu in a hotly contested race. Avella appeared at CJ Sullivan’s in Bayside at 10:30 p.m. on primary night, Sept. 9, with his wife Judith to announce his victory to a room full of supporters and staffers. “This victory happened because of all you guys,” he said to a roaring crowd. “It takes a lot of money to win. It shouldn’t be that way, but that’s how it is. I’ve never been with a better bunch of people who care about this state and I thank you all.” According to unofficial results, with 95.4 percent of the precincts reporting, Avella had 6,813 votes, or 52.2 percent of the votes, and Liu received 6,245, or 47.8 percent. While Avella declared victory, Liu didn’t think he lost. “I feel very proud about this campaign. I’m confident that the Board of Elections will get the fair results, no matter how long that takes,” Liu said. After serving as city councilman for Queens from 2002 to 2009, Avella stepped down to run an unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 2009. He ran and won for state senator the following year. Avella has represented the area for 12 years and received several endorsements, including police and fire unions and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Avella kicked off primary day in the morning by voting in P.S. 184 Flushing Manor. “Our support has been incredibly positive and when the polls close, we are confident that our campaign will be victorious,” Avella said earlier in the evening. “Voters understand that this race boils down to which candidate they trust to uphold this office with honor and integrity, and John Liu doesn’t pass the laugh test on either account.” On issues like airplane noise and property taxes, the two agree. But during the race, Liu sold himself as a “real Democrat” and criticized Avella for joining the Independent Democratic Caucus (IDC). During debates, Liu argued that Avella prevented major legislation — like increasing the minimum wage — in New York from being passed by creating an alliance with Republican state senators. Avella’s choice to join the IDC led the Queens Country Democrats to convince THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz Liu to run against him, according to the New York Daily News. During a debate in Flushing this summer, Avella responded to Liu’s criticism and said that he joined the IDC to pass important legislation by working with both parties instead of getting caught up in internal political battles. Because of Avella’s decision to join the IDC, Liu received the backing of the Queens Democratic Party and most of its elected officials as well as several unions. Despite all of this support, Avella still won the race. COMRIE DEFEATS STATE SEN. MALCOLM SMITH IN LANDSLIDE BY SALVATORE LICATA firstname.lastname@example.org @Sal_Licata1 Leroy Comrie is the de facto next state senator for District 14 after besting incumbent Malcolm Smith in the Democratic primary. There is no Republican candidate for the seat in the upcoming November election. Comrie, who previously represented part of the district on the City Council, ousted Smith, who is awaiting trial on federal corruption charges, in a landslide victory, earning 69.4 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results. “I’m excited about being able to serve District 14 in the state Senate. I was overwhelmed by the reaction from the community,” Comrie said. “It’s a gratifying win. It’s a real testament to the power of the community.” Political supporters, such as Councilman Daneek Miller and Borough President Melinda Katz, were at Comrie’s victory party to cheer him on. Most recently, Comrie was the deputy borough president under Katz; he stepped down to run in the District 14 primary. Smith, who has represented the district for over a decade, was indicted for allegedly trying to bribe his way into a GOP nomination for mayor. The trial was thrown into turmoil when prosecutors produced hours of audiotapes — many in Yiddish — that Smith’s lawyers claimed would bolster his defense. The judge declared a mistrial and a new trial is set for January. But Smith’s tainted reputation was enough to sway several elected officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Borough President Melinda Katz, to endorse Comrie over Smith. “I’m going to do my best to be an effective legislator,” Comrie noted. “I really have to get going and make sure that the residents of the 14th District can have the things they need in the budget starting in January. District 14 means home to me.” THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata Candidate Leroy Comrie holds up his campaign sign. Tony Avella talks to constituents during the Democratic primary.
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