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Liu launches bid to challenge Avella

By Alex Robinson

Former city Comptroller John Liu officially kicked off his campaign to unseat state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) Friday morning.

“This community is a bedrock of New York and the people here rightfully demand and deserve effective results-oriented representation,” he told reporters outside the Long Island Rail Road station in Bayside. “As state senator, I’ll be a fighter who will day in and day out pursue legislation, funding and initiatives to better our community here in northeast Queens.”

Liu’s announcement ended months of speculation as to what his political future might hold after he lost his mayoral bid last fall. He had been rumored to be seeking a congressional seat before he entered talks with Democratic Party officials to run against Avella in the September primary. The two-term senator angered party leadership when he joined the Independent Democratic Conference, which controls the state Senate with Republicans, earlier this year.

Liu ripped the IDC for working with Republicans, whom he blamed for inertia on initiatives such as the Women’s Equality Act, a hike in the minimum wage and campaign finance reform.

“There are a number of issues the Republican-led body have not allowed to come to the floor even though I believe the people of the state of New York want these measures enacted,” he said.

“Over the next few months, I’ll take my message straight to the voters of this Senate District 11,” Liu added.

The district covers Bayside, Whitestone, College Point and Bay Terrace as well as Douglaston, Hollis Hills and part of Flushing.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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