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Republican Meilin Tan picks up endorsements

Republican Meilin Tan, a Flushing resident for more than 30 years, has received some weighty endorsements in her campaign to represent the 22nd Assembly District.

In recent weeks, three powerful Republicans — Gov. George Pataki, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani — have offered Tan their support.

On Saturday at her office on Main Street, the woman who has worked with Queens District Attorney Richard Brown as a member of the Civilian Advisory Council gained the endorsement of Dr. Henry Lee, a Chinese-American forensic scientist noted for his work on high-profile cases such as the murder of Jon Benet Ramsay, the trial of O.J. Simpson and the death of former Clinton aide Vince Foster.

“I have spent my life in law enforcement aiding the prosecution of criminals but also defending the rights of the innocent,” Lee said. “Meilin has pledged to keep our streets safe by giving police officers the tools they need to get the job done. She will also continue to work with District Attorney Brown to ensure that our citizens’ rights are protected. I have no doubt that she will continue to expand on the work that I have fought so hard to accomplish.”

Tan is one of six candidates vying for the newly created 22nd Assembly District, which is centered in downtown Flushing. Democrat Barry Grodenchik, Independent and Conservative Jimmy Meng, Working Families Party candidate John Albert and Green Party candidate Evergreen Chou will also appear on Nov. 5’s general election ballot.

A tough stance on crime stands at the top of Tan’s agenda. As a member of the Civilian Advisory Council, she worked closely with officers from the 109th Precinct to ensure cooperation between police and the community. If elected, she plans to propose legislation that would treat graffiti vandals with stiff penalties.

“I want to fight crime,” she said. “I want top penalties for criminals and more police officers on the streets ... I feel criminals belong in jail. They don’t belong in communities. I want to continue with the Giuliani agenda.”

Tan said she would be willing to help reform the Rockefeller drug laws to provide lighter punishment for possession, though she seeks increased sentences for dealers.

“We have to help drug users, but we have to take the dealers off the streets,” she said. “I want to put drug users in rehab. But I want to catch drug dealers and put them away for a long time.”

Tan, who holds a master’s degree in library science from Appalachian State University, seeks to improve the city’s education standards and results. She also plans to fight for the concerns of women, such as breast cancer research, deal with problems faced by senior citizens and tackle quality of life issues.

“Downtown Flushing is growing so fast. We want more pickups of our trash, and we want cleaner, safer streets,” Tan said. “We deserve much better services and much better quality-of-life situations ... We want more Meals on Wheels programs, and we want to provide more transportation programs for senior citizens.”

A prodigious volunteer, Tan has served on the board of directors of five organizations: the Queens County Overall Economic Development Corp., the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens, Flushing Hospital, the Queens Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the American Red Cross.

A real estate broker since 1985, Tan founded Small Business Owners of Greater New York, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of fair business practices and the creation of favorable working environments.

She and her husband recently celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary with their only child, a son.

“I am the only candidate who has lived in this community every day for the last 30 years,” she said. “Family values and education are the top priorities for the Asian community ... Family values are the most important thing for me in my life.”

Alexander Dworkowitz contributed to this story.

Reach reporter Joe Whalen by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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