Comptroller and former Queens councilmember John Liu has formally kicked off his campaign for the mayor of New York City.
“This can’t be the city of the rich and poor, of them and us. New York City needs to be one city. One city where everyone gets a fair wage and a fair shot,” Liu said at the announcement on the steps of City Hall Sunday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Liu went on a five-borough tour to meet voters.
“With your help, I’ll be a mayor who fights not only for every borough—but for every block in every neighborhood,” he also said during his announcement.
Liu is entering an already crowded Democratic primary that includes Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who launched her campaign last weekend, and Bill Thompson, who served as comptroller before Liu.
After immigrating to the U.S. from Taiwan as a young child, Liu attended P.S. 20 in Queens, later graduating from the Bronx High School of Science. He currently lives in Flushing with his wife and son.
Liu mentioned his immigrant roots in his speech today.
“My parents truly believed in that promise–that an immigrant family named Liu could work their way up to become like a family named Kennedy. That’s why they named me John—and if you don’t believe me—feel free to ask my brothers Robert and Edward,” he said.
Though a recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 15 percent of city voters are enthusiastic and 72 percent are comfortable with an Asian candidate, it also found that in a Democratic mayoral primary against Quinn, Thompson and de Blasio, Liu would come in last.
Even before officially entering the race, Liu’s candidacy has faced issues over the arrest of two of his campaign aides last year in connection to illegal contributions towards his mayoral bid.
Liu has not been accused of any wrongdoing.