Working Family Party endorses Liu

By Alex Robinson

The Working Families Party, which supported state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) re-election in 2012, has thrown its weight behind his opponent.

The group endorsed former City Comptroller John Liu Thursday afternoon in his bid to unseat Avella, who recently joined the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway group of Democratic senators who control the upper chamber with Republicans.

“John Liu helps set the standard for progressive leadership in New York and has long been a relentless fighter for this city’s working families,” said Bill Lipton, WFP state director in a statement. “The Working Families Party is proud to endorse John Liu for state Senate, and we look forward to welcoming him as a key member of the Democrat-Working Families majority that will fight for a New York that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected.”

Avella ran on the WFP line and the Independence Party ticket in 2012, when he defeated Republic challenger Joseph Concannon in a landslide.

Liu took the opportunity of the announcement to rip the legislative record of the governing coalition between the IDC and Republicans.

“The Republicans and their allies in the Senate have had ample chances to make New York a better place for working women and men, and they’ve failed,” he said.

The two-term senator’s campaign shot back at Liu and the WFP with a statement questioning their ethical integrity.

“Just days after the Court of Appeals ruled that a special prosecutor was permitted to continue its criminal investigation into the Working Families Party, they are now shamelessly backing a disgraced candidate for state Senate who comes with his own ethical lapses,” Avella’s campaign spokeswoman, Heather Sager, said. “But this should come as no surprise as both the WFP and John Liu have their own cherished history of backroom deals, reduced-rate-in-kind contributions for city office and alleged campaign violations that bring utter disgust to our democratic process.”

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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