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Liu, Yassky head for comptroller runoff

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City Councilmen John Liu (D-Flushing) and David Yassky (D-Brooklyn) will meet in round two of the Democratic primary for city comptroller in the coming weeks after a run-off election was triggered Tuesday in the tight race, according to unofficial election results.

Liu led the pack of four candidates in Tuesday’s primary, finishing with 133,986 votes, or 38 percent, narrowly missing the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a run-off election, according to NY1. Yassky received 107,474 votes, or just over 30 percent of the votes cast, according to unofficial results reported by NY1.

But because neither candidate captured more than 40 percent of the vote, a run-off election probably will be scheduled for Sept. 29 for the Democratic nomination, the city Board of Elections said.

Reached for comment, both campaigns said they were confident.

“We’ll take it in two weeks,” Liu spokeswoman Sharon Lee said.

“We’re ready for the run-off,” Yassky spokesman Danny Kanner said.

Liu’s fellow Queens Council members Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills) and David Weprin (D-Hollis) trailed the pack of four. Katz finished with 72,043 votes, or about 20 percent of the vote, while Weprin received 38,917 votes, or just over 11 percent of the vote, according to NY1.

The four candidates led a tight race through the summer, with polls primarily showing Liu, Katz and Yassky hovering between 20 and 30 percent of likely voters and Weprin trailing behind.

Both Liu and Yassky bring a different set of qualifications to the table, although they both have served two terms in the City Council.

Liu has served two terms as the Flushing councilman and worked as a former actuary with PriceWater­houseCooper — experience he touts in his bid to capture the top financial post in the city. He has also served as the City Council Transportation Committee chairman for the last several years.

Yassky, meanwhile, the sole Brooklyn candidate in the race, has served as the chairman of the Council Small Business Committee since shortly after taking office in 2001. He also previously served in the city budget office and worked for U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) prior to that.

The eventual winner of the Democratic nomination will face-off against Republican challenger Joseph Mendola in November’s general election.

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

Updated 7:08 pm, September 14, 2011
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