By Gina Martinez
City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) is not mincing words about his opponent for City Council, whom he called an “angry mom” and compared to President Donald Trump.
Koo is running for his third term against an unlikely competitor, Alison Tan, wife of state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing), the managing director of Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group and a CB 7 board member.
But according to Koo, he is not worried about Tan and said he is running his campaign on his record and his achievements of the last eight years, something he believes gives him a leg up.
“My opponent has limited experience and limited contributions to Flushing,” Koo said. “She only decided to run just four months ago. She is attacking me on almost everything. She’s saying Flushing is too dirty, too congested, overdeveloped, but I don’t think so.”
Many were surprised when Tan decided to run against Koo, especially given Kim’s friendship with Koo. Kim had even endorsed the councilman for re-election prior to his wife’s announcement that she would challenge Koo.
“Me and Ron Kim, we were friends for a long time,” Koo said in an interview. “Then he turned around and asked his wife to run against me. I don’t know what is wrong with him. Two months before his wife decided to run, he supported my re-election, He called me the ‘Mayor of Flushing.’”
Koo said he and Kim are now cordial at social functions, but they are no longer friends.
According to the councilman, he plans on continuing the work he has already done in the last eight years, mainly building Flushing’s infrastructure, improving traffic and clean up Flushing Creek.
“Flushing is developing,” he said. “The infrastructure is very important. Right now I’m focusing on the Main Street reconstruction. It’s set to be finished in a month and pedestrians will have lots of room to walk and traffic will be better, of course. We are also working with the DOT and other entities to improve traffic patterns, to make sure buses can turn the corner 37th Avenue. There is so much room for improvement, that also includes sanitation, but we’re always improving. Tan said Flushing is so terrible, but if it was so terrible, why do people keep moving in to Flushing?”
Koo said Tan lacks any experience to come up with real solutions for the district.
“My opponent, she hasn’t done anything in government,” he said. “There’s a huge learning curve, even if she is elected. She is just power hungry, she already makes enough money. She thinks just like Donald Trump: She has experience in the real estate industry and is in the political circle. She needs some power to accommodate her financial success.”
Koo said he will continue to help out Flushing community in terms of education, public safety, traffic and small businesses.
He said Tan does not have anything but anger to run on and that will not get her far.
“I’m a humble, modest guy, unless people are attacking me,” he said. “An angry mom can’t accomplish much. In the City Council you have to compromise. It’s about give-and-take, not about being angry all the time in order to accomplish anything.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart