By Steve Mosco
State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) kicked off her run for re-election Saturday in the redrawn 16th Senate District at her new campaign office in the heart of downtown Flushing.
With dozens of supporters in attendance, Stavisky said her campaign office’s location, at 37-02 Main St., gives her the opportunity to remain close to her constituents through a team of dedicated interns and staff, who will canvass the surrounding area.
“We’ve got a broad coalition of supporters energized by the prospects of this campaign,” said Stavisky, who is seeking her seventh full term in the Senate. “We’ve made progress in Albany these last two years, but work remains.”
The senator said some of the most pressing issues she plans on tackling if re-elected include minimum wage, job creation and women’s rights.
“Nearly 900,000 New Yorkers will benefit from a minimum wage increase, including almost 100,000 right here in Queens,” she said. “We need real job creation here in Queens, helping us to revitalize our neighborhoods. We need to win the war on women that’s being waged and protect the fundamental right for patients and doctors to make medical decisions, not legislators. And we need to pass the NY DREAM Act, empowering tens of thousands of law-abiding students to continue in their dreams and have access to quality, affordable higher education.”
Stavisky is running in the redrawn 16th Senate District encompassing Elmhurst, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Rego Park and Woodside.
Two challengers have emerged so far in the district: Oakland Gardens lawyer and Democrat John Messer and Flushing lawyer J.D. Kim, who received the nod of the Republican Party.
All state candidates have until mid-July to accrue either 1,000 signatures for those running as Democrats or 816 signatures for Republicans.
Recent winner of the Democratic Party primary for New York’s 6th Congressional District, state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) threw her support behind Stavisky in a statement issued as she geared up for her own run for Congress.
“I’m proud to support my dear friend and colleague Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky on her re-election campaign to Senate District 16,” Meng said. “She has demonstrated her dedication and advocacy to her constituents and the many issues that affect Queens through her accomplishments in the state Senate. Toby is a candidate that demonstrates honesty, integrity and reliability in all she does — in her re-election she will continue to strive at making Queens the best it can be for all families.”
Besides Meng, Stavisky has also received endorsements from the Working Families and Independence parties, along with several members of the Democratic Party, including U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and City Comptroller John Liu.
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.