Avella earns low approval rating in mayoral primary: poll

By Mark Hallum

A recent Quinnipiac University poll does not bode well for state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the upcoming mayoral race. The Queens pol came in with only a 1 percent approval rating, landing him in below the four other candidates in the Democratic primary.

Mayor Bill de Blasio had the highest approval rating with 35 percent, followed by former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn with 11 percent, City Comptroller Scott Stringer with 9 percent, U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries with 8 percent and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. with 5 percent.

But Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said the numbers are far from representing how the election will play out.

“New Yorkers aren’t in love with Mayor Bill de Blasio, but they seem to like him better than other possible choices – except Hillary Clinton, who probably is an impossible choice,” said Malloy. “None of the possible contenders has made any real noise or spent any money, so this race still could get interesting.”

Avella announced his intention to run for mayor at a homeless shelter protest at the Holiday Inn at 59-40 55th Rd. in Maspeth Dec.18, and has championed doing away with hotel conversions into homeless shelters as well as taken on a variety issues dear to homeowners in northeast Queens.

“I believe we have reached a crossroad in the direction our city should be taking,” Avella said during the announcement. “Under Mayor de Blasio we have more homeless than ever – our taxes continue to rise and it is more expensive to live here than ever before, all of this, while our quality of life fades away. I believe it is time for a change.”

Avella has challenged elected officials at all levels as an outspoken advocate for his constituents. In November, he went as far as Brooklyn to cultivate support leading up to his announcement and met with leaders of Marine Park Civic, Gerritsen Beach Cares, Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association, the Brooklyn Housing Preservation Alliance, and the Bay Improvement Group, among others.

Avella has preached a bottom-up style of governance, as opposed to what he calls a top-down approach from de Blasio, a point which resonated among civic leaders in Brooklyn and echoed by those protesting the Holiday Inn shelter in Maspeth.

Avella told the crowd at the announcement he would adopt the 2 percent property tax cap and properly fund school capital and expense projects to provide students with up-to-date technology.

He ran for mayor in 2009 and was defeated in the Democratic primary.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

More from Around New York