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Meng puts end to rumors of run against Grodenchik

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The move could have made him the sole Chinese candidate in a race he lost two years ago when a number of Asians were running.

"I plan to run," Meng said a week ago. "I have to see...how the petitions are doing."

On Tuesday he said he was not planning on running anymore, but would not specify why.

His name was not registered with the state Campaign Finance Board, the first step in running for public office.

Meng earned 3,782 votes to Grodenchik's 5,593 in the November 2002 assembly race. In that election, he also competed with Republican Meilin Tan, Liberal Ethel Chen, Green Party candidate Evergreen Chou and Working Families Party candidate John Albert.

The 22nd Assembly seat represents a district centered on the predominantly Asian area in downtown Flushing. In the 11354 zip code, which includes downtown Flushing, 41.2 percent of the population is Asian, according to Census 2000 reports.

Meng, who has lived in Flushing for more than 20 years, said he respects Grodenchik, but thinks the language barrier and cultural differences keep him from being able to better represent the Asian community.

"I know what the people in the community need, especially from the state," Meng said a week ago.

When asked what issues most pertained to downtown Flushing, Meng cited affordable housing, overcrowded school and immigration issues.

Grodenchik said he was aware that Meng was soliciting signatures as of last week.

"He's circulating petitions but he hasn't announced yet," Grodenchik said. "I've never heard of such a thing."

Grodenchik held a fund-raiser with members of the Korean community at Seoul Plaza in May.

"I am taking any and every candidate against me very seriously," Grodenchik said. "I'm working as hard as I can and I'm certain we will be victorious."

Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.

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