Qns. electeds get backing in comptroller campaign

Councilmembers (Clockwise from top left) Melinda Katz, David Weprin, David Yassky and John Liu are in a four−way battle for the Democratic nomination for city Comptroller.
By Stephen Stirling

Endorsements have been flying fast and furious in the race for city comptroller as a trio of Queens legislators ramp up their campaigns in a bid for the seat that will be vacated by William Thompson.

With the incumbent Thompson leaving his post to run for mayor, Queens Councilmen John Liu (D−Flushing) and David Weprin (D−Hollis) and Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D−Forest Hills) are in a four−way race with Councilman David Yassky (D−Brooklyn) for the Democratic nomination that already has the look of one of the hottest races in the city.

Since announcing his campaign last month, Liu has been snapping up endorsements quickly — most notably securing the backing of the Working Families Party last week.

“He has put together a broad, impressive coalition and laid out a vision for a comptroller who fights for living wages, jobs, affordable housing and responsible contracting,” said Dan Cantor, the Working Families Party executive director. “Liu will make our city more accountable, fair, transparent and fiscally responsible.”

In the past two weeks, Liu also announced that U.S. Rep. Jose Serrano (D−Bronx), U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns (D−Brooklyn), Emerald Isle Immigration Center Chairman Brian O’Dwyer and a handful of Democratic clubs around the city had also thrown their support behind the Flushing legislator.

Weprin, who secured the support of former Mayor David Dinkins last month, also made a substantial addition to his campaign team this week. Former Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden endorsed Weprin at the opening of his Manhattan campaign office Sunday and was named co−chairman of the campaign.

Weprin also picked up the endorsement of former mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D−Bayside) and Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D−Flushing).

Meanwhile, Katz, who formally kicked off her campaign earlier this month at her home in Forest Hills, received the endorsement of national women’s advocacy group EMILY’s List on April 16 and has also garnered the support of state Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D−Corona), Councilwoman Melissa Mark−Viverito (D−Manhattan) and Councilwoman Maria Carmen Del Arroyo (D−Bronx).

“As the next comptroller, she will work to maintain the healthy economic trend and to move the city forward in providing accessible housing, quality schools and a prosperous business climate,” Kate Coyne−McCoy, regional director of EMILY’s List, said in a statement.

Yassky, the only non−Queens legislator vying for the Democratic nomination for comptroller, has also been busy in the early going.

On Friday, Yassky announced he had gained the support of an influential Manhattan Democratic club, the Broadway Democrats, and had previously been endorsed by Assemblyman Jonathan Bing (D−Manhattan) and Councilman Dan Garodnick (D−Manhattan).

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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