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Harrison emerges as primary winner

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A familiar face has returned to the Flushing political stage.

Julia Harrison, a former city councilwoman and state assemblywoman who has been a fixture in city politics for decades, was elected as a Democratic district leader in Flushing, ousting incumbent Mei-Hua Ru by a mere 16 votes earlier this month.

The results were certified by the city Elections Board last week after absentee ballots were counted and a machine recount was initiated.

Harrison ran on the same ticket as Grace Meng, who defeated incumbent state Assemblywoman Ellen Young (D-Flushing) by a wide margin, an unlikely partnership considering that Harrison and Meng ran against one other for the same seat just two years ago.

The unofficial results had Harrison trailing Ru, who recently helped organize Flushing's delegation to the Democratic National Convention, by nine votes, leading Harrison and Meng's own advisers to believe the state Assembly race was the only victory the group, which also included Korean activist Terence Park, had achieved.

"I don't think we took any of the party races," said campaign adviser Michael Tobman, following the Sept. 9 primary.

Harrison, now 86, is no stranger to the area. She held the City Council seat now occupied by John Liu (D-Flushing) for 15 years, from 1986 until 2001, when term limits forced her from office.

Prior to that, Harrison also served as a state assemblywoman in the area from 1983 to 1986.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext 138.

Posted 6:37 pm, October 10, 2011
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