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Photo by Walter Karling
Photo by Walter Karling
State Senator Tony Avella announcing his run for mayor last December.

Bayside-based state Senator Tony Avella announced on Thursday morning that he has suspended his mayoral campaign against incumbent candidate Mayor Bill de Blasio, citing financial reasons.

The Democratic lawmaker, who represents areas of Bayside, Flushing, Whitestone and Douglaston, announced his bid for mayor last December. Avella was the lone active legislator to mount a challenge to de Blasio in the Democratic primary, which takes place this September.

“When I started this campaign five months ago I knew that I was facing an uphill battle if I wanted to topple an incumbent mayor with deep pockets,” Avella said in a statement released by his campaign on May 4. “Though uphill, the battle was not impossible. If able to stay in this race the entire way I knew that with my resume, coupled with the incumbent’s disrespect, disregard and disdain for the everyday New Yorker, my message could resonate with New York.”

However, as the race progressed, Avella continued, staying in the running “without being beholden to dark money” posed a challenge.

“Throughout my career in government, I have prided myself on being an outsider who made it to the inside and got things done,” he continued. “Unfortunately, in a race like this, being an outsider doesn’t get you much. These days, it seems, elections are won with dollars, not votes.”

The lawmaker closed by assuring his constituents in Senate District 11 that he will continue to serve as their state senator and represent Queens in Albany. He also vowed to challenge de Blasio’s policies as necessary.

“I will not stop fighting against the current mayor, or anyone who tries to slow the progress of our great borough and city,” he added. “I will continue to pass progressive legislation, fight to make New York more affordable, and ensure that the government works for everyone.”

Avella previously ran for mayor in 2009, losing the Democratic primary to then-City Comptroller Bill Thompson. Last November, Avella was re-elected to his 11th State Senate District seat, which he has held since unseating state Senator Frank Padavan in the 2010 election.

With Avella now out of the race, de Blasio’s prospects of securing the Democratic nomination looks even more assured; his remaining primary challengers include former Councilman Sal Albanese of Brooklyn and a number of lesser-known civic activists.

The Democratic nominee will face the Republican and third-party nominees in the Nov. 7 general election.

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