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22nd Assembly Race: Meng Makes History – QNS.com

22nd Assembly Race: Meng Makes History

After ousting incumbent Assemblyman Barry Grodenchik in a Democratic primary upset, Jimmy Meng won the race for the 22nd District on Tuesday night and immediately promised to work hand-in-hand with other elected officials and community leaders once in office.
"I will work closely with [Councilmember] John Liu and Community Board 9," he said, adding, "And I will reach out to all of the different people who make up Flushing."
With a lead of over 9,000 votes as of late Tuesday night, Meng was all but assured of making history by becoming the first Asian-American member of the State legislature.
The Flushing businessman defeated Republican candidate Meilin Tan, Green Party candidate Evergreen Chou, and Grodenchik, who was listed on the Working Families Party line although he did not actively run after losing the primary.
"I appreciate this country that gave me great opportunities," said Meng, minutes after the election results were announced. "I raised my family here and now I can give back." He is the owner of the Queens Lumber Company, a bookstore and former president of the Flushing Chinese Business Association.
One of his first tasks will be to deal with Flushing’s clogged streets by creating more parking in the area, along with pushing for more commercial zoning and adding more after-school programs for local schools.
The Meng victory signaled the growing strength of the Asian-American community in Flushing, where they make up 53 percent of the population. Meng will share part of his Flushing constituency with John Liu, the first Asian-American to be elected to City Council in 2000.
The Councilmember, however, endorsed Grodenchik in the primary, and sparred with Meng over questions of possible election fraud.
Meng’s primary victory was attributed to a voter registration campaign that signed up hundreds of new voters. But allegations that some newly-registered voters had used commercial addresses and vacant lots in some cases tainted the Meng campaign, although no one blamed him directly.
"There were hundreds of people illegally registered, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence," said Grodenchik. The Board of Elections is currently investigating the charges, and Grodenchik hopes the District Attorney will step in, too. He added, however, that he hopes Meng will do a good job, "He and I are not that different on the issues."

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