Vanel drops out of state Senate race

By Sarina Trangle

Small businessman Clyde Vanel announced Monday he would not pursue the state Senate seat currently held by Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and sought by former City Councilman Leroy Comrie.

“In an effort to unite the party and after conferring with my family, friends, Senate Democrats and others, I am withdrawing my candidacy from the Senate race,” Vanel said in a statement.

Vanel, a frequent candidate for office, noted he would continue to work on improving education, quality of life issues and job concerns.

He could not immediately be reached for comment.

Vanel’s withdrawal leaves Smith, who has been charged in a federal corruption trial; Comrie; Democratic operative Munir Avery; and U.S. Navy veteran Bernadette Semple in the Democratic primary race.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at [email protected].