Down goes Avella: Liu secures primary victory

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John Liu delivers his victory speech after defeating state Sen. Tony Avella in the Democratic primary.

“True blue Liu” was what a crowd of supporters of former City Comptroller John Liu chanted as he became the Democratic nominee to represent northeast Queens in the state Senate last week after besting state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in their second primary bout.

With 100 percent of the districts reporting, Liu captured 50.73 percent of the votes, while Avella trailed with 45.3 percent, according to unofficial results from the city Board of Elections. There were 23,939 votes cast, 12,133 of which were in favor of Liu and 10,846 for Avella.

Liu and Avella — a former member of the renegade Independent Democratic Conference member from 2014 to 2018 — previously went head-to-head in the 2014 primary, which Avella won by a narrow margin of 894 votes.

“I’m honored and humbled that fellow Democrats in Senate District 11 have entrusted me with their nomination, and congratulate Tony Avella on a spirited and hard-fought race. In the coming weeks, I will continue talking about the challenges we face in northeast Queens, in our state and in our nation, and how I plan to help people and tackle these issues as state senator. I’ll work hard to earn the support and confidence of all voters in the Nov. 6 general election, and I’ll work even harder once I take office,” said Liu.

Avella was not available to comment.

At Liu’s victory party, which was held at 40-12 Bell Blvd. in Bayside, more than 200 attendees cheered and high-fived each other throughout the night.

“I’m going to try to ensure that no other person tries to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters and starts making side deals that only better themselves and not the greater cause. The greater cause are the people of New York state,” said Liu.

On Election Day, Liu greeted voters at polling sites within the 11th Senate District — which covers Bayside, College Point, Auburndale, Beechhurst, Whitestone, Bay Terrace and parts of Flushing, Douglaston, Little Neck and Glen Oaks. He exuded confidence, believing his more progressive stance on issues could possibly turn the tide of votes in his favor.

“I think people are upset about what is happening in this country. Trump getting into the White House has woken people up about the sad state of affairs in New York state, particularly with this IDC collusion with Republicans blocking the legislation that people in New York state want,” said Liu.

Daniel Randall, a Bay Terrace resident who attended the victory party, agreed.

“It goes to show that if you betray your values you have to pay the price,” said Randall. “It has been a long time since we had a Democrat who represents us and represents our values.”

Several elected officials attended Liu’s victory party including, state Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal (D-Flushing) and City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest).

“The IDC was empowering Republicans and blocking a lot of good Democratic legislation,” said Rosenthal. “In the age of Trump we are not taking any chances anymore and we want real Democrats to represent us in Albany.”

Lancman agreed with Rosenthal.

“I’m thrilled. John is a terrific guy and he is going to be my senator,” said Lancman. “I’m going to have a senator that represents my values and who is not going to play footsies with the Republicans.”

Liu will take on Vickie Paladino, who defeated Simon Minching with 55. 8 percent of the votes in the Republican primary — with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, according to the city Board of Elections — in the Nov. 6 general election.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Posted 12:00 am, September 20, 2018
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Reader feedback

Dwayne from Queens says:
Sorry but both are grasping reprobate bums.
Sept. 20, 7:01 am
Paulette from Astoria says:
I'm very happy for Liu, Avella and 7 other Democrats were members of the Independent Democratic Conference who worked with the Republican party, 6 of the members lost, and 2 were re-elected, now maybe we will get something done in NYC.
Sept. 20, 8:31 am
Bob from Glen Oaks says:
As president of the world’s largest co-op I decide what to do with Liu. He is easy to manipulate and control.
Sept. 20, 9:26 am
Criminal from Queens says:
Liu is nothing but a criminal. Avella atleast tried to fight for the overcrowding of this area. But Liu, of course, will just allow his own race to do whatever they want to do. With grace meng and if liu gets elected in regular primaries, you can guarantee that this area is doomed for more "2 family houses" that house 4 families and even worst race division in our schools. You know they only side with their race and will do anything for them. Mayor dumbdumb does nothing either to help the race divides in the schools or neighborhoods. When it comes to racism, it seems to turn a blind eye if other races do it. I wish more voters turned out, I felt very alone when I went to the polling place. Seems like nobody cares anymore. And all politics has to do with race anymore which is absolutely ridiculous. I voted for Thompson in the elections against mayor dumbdumb too but he lost and they let this idiot con artist into office too. NYC has nothing but criminals and cons in power.
Sept. 20, 9:28 am
wonder how many from Queens says:
Wonder how people could be so stupid as to vote for a criminal? Maybe just voted in by paid illegals?
Sept. 20, 3:23 pm
Chita from Bay Terrace says:
I use to like Tony Avella until I had dealings with him and realized that he's not about to go out of his way to help anyone unless it serves to make him look good. I voted for John Liu in 2014, and again this past Election Day. I am soooo glad he ran again, and WON. Now I am looking forward to voting for him in in the general election. CONGRATULATIONS, Mr. Liu, soon to be Senator Liu. And, thank you for remembering me from our brief conversation in 2014, and sending me a personal note asking for my support in 2018. You didn't have to do that because it was already in the bag. You are a class act.
Sept. 20, 5:05 pm
Cardinal from Whitestone says:
Liu is a class act and will be a great senator. The feds investigated him and found nothing. They had to do a fake sting operation to get bogus charges. He was targeted because he challenged the power structure. Don’t be naive. After the feds spending millions to get him, they got nothing. Agreed that Avella is a two faced sob. Fraudulently ran as a dem then voted with the republicans. He’s good at writing form letters to agencies, but the agencies ignore them because he’s such a geek.
Sept. 20, 6:53 pm
Tom from Queens says:
All the overcrowding and McMansions happened on Avella’s watch, not Liu’s, for all the morons out there.
Sept. 20, 9:40 pm
JJK from Bay Terrace says:
Definitely agree that we absolutely have plenty of morons out there thinking that Liu was "voted in by paid illegals". Thank god this old generation will die soon.
Sept. 21, 9:11 am
Ming Loo from Flushing says:
John Liu is nothing more than a smiling communist chinese financed criminal who, among other things, destroyed the landmark RKO Keith's for his own personal greed and profit. If you think that the invasion of cash carrying chinese house buyers is bad now, just wait. It's time to take our nation back. Vote Republican in November.
Sept. 21, 9:35 am
Cardinal from Whitestone says:
Liu won by over 50% of the vote. 2016 census info show the senate district as 39% white, 38% Asian and the rest others. Assuming Liu got 90% of the Asian vote, he got a lot of non Asian support to win. I guess wacky falun gongers and white nimbys were not enough to propel Avella to victory.
Sept. 21, 2:07 pm

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