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Liu defeats Paladino, Avella and Minching to clinch northeast Queens state Senate seat

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John Liu celebrates his election victory after unofficial results declared him the winner of the District 11 state Senate seat.
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Newly elected state Senator John Liu with fellow supporters at his victory party at Monahan and Fitzgerald Tuesday night.
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Liu’s campaign focused on improving on quality-of-life issues, education, affordable housing and women’s reproductive health care.

John Liu claimed victory in Tuesday night’s midterm election defeating Republican Vickie Paladino, Conservative Simon Minching and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who refused to step down after losing the Democratic primary in September.

Liu thanked his supporters and new colleagues in a packed bar room at Bayside’s Monahan and Fitzgerald — located at 214-17 41st Ave. — as they repeatedly chanted “John Liu!”

“We took the Senate back for a true Democrat,” said Liu, as supporters applauded and cheered. “It’s about this district, it’s about this community, it’s also about the state of New York, and it’s about fighting back against what’s happening in this country!”

Liu’s victory helped Democrats take control of the state Senate for the first time since 2010.

With 96.6 percent of the precincts reporting, Liu secured 53.52 percent of the votes, while Paladino obtained 24.8 percent and Avella trailed behind with 20.75 percent, according to unofficial results from the city Board of Elections. Minching finished with 1.4 percent of the votes.

“I’m grateful and humbled by the confidence the voters have placed in me and I reiterate my pledge that I’ll work every day to represent the public interest,” said Liu. “I thank my rivals in this sometimes contentious election and hope to work with them all going forward, for the greater interest.”

Liu, a former city councilman and city comptroller, will now represent the 11th Senate District in northeast Queens — which covers Bayside, College Point, Auburndale, Beechhurst, Whitestone, Bay Terrace and parts of Flushing, Douglaston, Little Neck and Glen Oaks.

Liu and Avella — a former member of the defunct 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.

Facing off in their second bout four years later, both candidates ran campaigns promising to continue improving quality-of-life issues, affordable housing, and education for their constituents in the district.

In his victory speech, Liu said he wants to pass legislation to bring dignity to immigrants, make sure workers are treated fairly, and protect a woman’s right to choose in the Reproductive Health Act.

“So many pieces of legislation that have been bottled up for so long in New York state Senate, we’re going to work very hard to pass them come January,” said Liu.

Liu’s diverse sea of supporters said they believe in the former city comptroller’s ability to bring forth change in the community and Albany.

Minsun Kim, president of the Korean American Association of Greater New York, said she is proud of Liu’s accomplishment.

“His efforts to enrich our community since he was a comptroller in New York City. I don’t doubt his dedication to our community and he’s able to improve our quality-of-life in New York State,” said Kim. “John Liu is one of the very few politicians we can trust, so we’re really proud of John.”

Barbara Baruch of Flushing, a retired teacher who taught for 33 years, met Liu while he was running for city council.

“People really love him and I think he’s going to make a lot of changes in the Senate and that’s what we need,” said Baruch. “There’s so many things that need to be addressed, especially the one who’s the president. I think he’s a role model. He’s an example of the American dream.”

State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Flushing) said Liu’s victory signals new opportunities in Albany to bring about meaningful change in the community.

“From property tax to relief fixing our broken mass transit system, northeast Queens residents face unique challenges that have gone overlooked for far too long,” said Rozic. “I congratulate John on his election win and look forward to working with him as my colleague in the state Senate.”

Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmohamed@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4526.

Posted 12:00 am, November 8, 2018
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Reader feedback

Crook from Queens says:
Most people vote strictly based on race, not ideas. Most probably weren't here (since most are renters anymore) when this crook was in office before years ago. So they have no idea what trash he is. Wonder where he got his funding from this time? NYC is diverse but also the most racist and divided. Well if the neighborhood continues to look like trash and you see even more overdevelopment happening and the taxes going up and the neighborhoods becoming filthy with garbage all over and that the MTA never changes then you cant complain.
Nov. 8, 3:14 am
Paulette from Astoria says:
Your racism and ignorance is showing.
Nov. 8, 7:02 am
Crook from Queens is right; Paulette keep your opinions in Astoria from Bayside says:
Paulette from Astoria, keep your opinions in Astoria; NE Queens isn’t asking for them. Crook from Queens is correct. John Liu is as crooked as they come, and should not be excluded from appropriate criticism because he is your brethren. Fact is fact.
Nov. 8, 9:56 am
Bob from Glen Oaks says:
As president of the world's largest co-op, I am dismayed by this result. Liu is a crook.
Nov. 8, 10:08 am
JJK says:
The photo says it all about Baysides future
Nov. 8, 10:44 am
Johnny from Astoria says:
Paulette has every right to speak as you do. No one is asking for your racist opinion either, so shove it. How do you know Paulette is Asian, you got a crystal ball? You are a clown and that is a fact!
Nov. 8, 11:29 am
Ronnie from Flushing says:
Crook, disgraceful from Queens, should keep his thoughts inside his ignorant head and seek psychological help.
Nov. 8, 11:29 am
Johhny from Astoria says:
I'd like to add that I'm not saying Liu isn't a crook, he definitely was. Maybe he's changed, maybe not. But there is no reason to sling racist comments. What was so good about Avella anyway? What did he ever accomplish? Also if you want to talk about crooks, how about you start with the person who sits in the White House!
Nov. 8, 11:35 am
Crook? from Queens says:
Please prove that Liu is a crook. Otherwise, don't start trouble. Dan Halloran was proven to be a crook and sentenced to prison. Prove your loyalty to the city and if you claim to be democrat, be one and not help republican agendas. Cuomo had to tell IDC and Avella to stop their nonsense. This is why he was voted out. Stand by a hypocrite and call everyone else racist if you wish. Look into yourself first.
Nov. 8, 12:07 pm
Lou from Bayside says:
Same old , same old ....you schmucks deserve what you get !
Nov. 8, 1:48 pm
JJK from Bay Terrace says:
Hey - ignorant white people hate all races. That should be known by now.
Nov. 8, 2:17 pm
Cardinal from Bayside says:
Liu has always been a zealous advocate for his community. He was a great Comptroller who made many powerfull people nervous. They investigated him and found nothing. Had to create a phony sting operation to get his campaign on fundraising? Come on people, use your brains! He was investigated for two years by the feds and they found nothing. The govt has shown they can put crooked pols in jail (skelos, silver,etc.). Liu has never been indicted, much less convicted of any crime. News for the xenophobes. Queens is changing. Either accept it or get left behind. NE Queens is lucky to have him as a Senator.
Nov. 8, 9:16 pm
The Venerable Stan from Flushing says:
Liu was never convicted, true, there was corruption involved with his campaign funds, but only some of his friends were convicted AND NOT JOHN LIU. I'm wondering however, about the unpaid third of a million dollars he owes the City. Perhaps it can be taken out of his paychecks?? In any event, I wish him well & I look forward to seeing him prove his worthiness in Albany. I'll be watching………
Nov. 9, 12:08 am
Jeff from Flushing says:
Omg.how. Many more. Can picker. Do we need. He will allow. Legal sex trafficking. And whore houses. Welcome to third world. Queens
Nov. 9, 6:56 am
Cardinal from Bayside says:
Stan, the feds created a fake company to conduct a sting fundraiser when they found nothing in their initial investigation. Who else have they done this to? Their Ahab-like obsession was to get Liu, not his associates. It was only when they couldn’t get him after a 2 year investigation that they went after his associates. The feds couldn’t spend millions in a sting and have nothing to show for it. It’s all in the news articles. Also, the fines to the city were for campaign signs. I’ve seen Bellon, Avella and Paladino signs illegally posted all over NE Queens. Willing to bet a dollar there will be no fines. What does that tell you?
Nov. 9, 7:19 am
Angry dad from Bayside says:
Bayside has gone to hell. Most of the racism in the area are the Asian community. Tell me do you see kids playing together really any more black white Spanish etc .The Asian community separates us from them hell even at the park Asian kids wont even say hi to my son so shut up everyone is racist to Asians. As for the bottle pickers they wont listen when u tell them to stop going in your garbage that's a serious problem. It's sad how bayside was some what diverse. When the time comes I will be leaving bayside hopefully to a neighborhood somewhere that's diverse again.
Nov. 9, 1:23 pm
Angry dad from Bayside says:
No neighborhood should be only one type of race or cater to one race only. It's sad and no race should have the right to tell people of another race we are talking over if you dont like it leave .
Nov. 9, 1:28 pm
Angry dad from Bayside from Bayside says:
Angry dad - I think I might agree with you, except I’m not sure if you mean that the true racists are the Asians, not the other way around. I agree that you no longer see kids playing around with other diverse kids. Sadly, you RARELY see Asian kids interact let alone acknowledge kids that are non-Asian. Asians don’t blend into their communities and frankly have no desire to do so. NE Queens was once a diverse and friendly place, but no longer. I have Asian neighbors that will speak English with their own and then pretend not to speak english when approached by a non-Asian. While the Asian community excels academically, they are far behind most other nationalities when it comes to emotional intelligence.
Nov. 9, 4:28 pm
Angrier dad from Whitestone says:
Bayside is a great community and getting better. The same thing you’re saying about Asians was once said about the Germans, Italians, Irish and others before them. I find my Asian neighbors to be friendly, but reserved. Have YOU ever reached out to them? A simple “hello” goes a long way.
Nov. 9, 8:22 pm
Angry dad from Bayside says:
And yes I have I'm in my late 30s born and raised here . Saw a bunch of change I mean block alone was a mix of everyone. We all played hung out together school etc . Even block parties . I even dated a few asian girls from the neighborhood I'm mixed and their family's respected me and welcomed me . I deal with people of all races as part of my profession. Something about these people dont know how to communicate or just dont care to or like us they are a new generation .On my block now its multi family houses must I say attached multi houses and all but 5 families that aren't Asian and we are the only group that communicate with eachother.And no we aren't all white we r mixed . I dont want that Joe Moron starting With white people crap .
Nov. 9, 9:03 pm
White people have something to say from about any race that moves into the neighborhood says:
That is the sad sad truth. That's why the rest of the world hates you. You are close minded and do not accept other cultures, but you claim not to be racist when making statements you won't say publicly. I have yet to see a white guy express his views in the face of a black person. If a black family moves in, the neighborhood gossips - sure, you will be politically correct on paper and deny that, but I've lived in the neighborhood long enough to know this for a fact. The Asians are growing in Bayside because they can afford it. Not all of them are first generation Asians so they have not fully assimilated yet. Give them a chance. But come on white people, let's stop embarassing ourselves.
Nov. 10, 8:05 am
Celtic from Bayside says:
As for John Liu, he's a low life Asian mafia crook. And to think he had the balls to celebrate in an Irish bar (with no Irish in there by the way). Welcome to the new Bayside. As for NE, Queens. It's changing for the worse no doubt. I'm 45 so old enough to remember when streets/schools were integrated with kids of all ethnic backgrounds that were friends and hung out together. There was a real sense of community. Today? Hell no. Asians move in, lock up their windows, disappear until the IRS shows up looking for the cash they're hiding from the IRS. It was funny watching my neighbors flee to Hong Kong overnight!
Nov. 12, 3:36 am
John from Bayside says:
At what point do people wake up and start pushing back against this liberal democrat agenda in this city and state. It is sickening what the democrats have done o this town. What's next heroin injection sites on Bell Blvd?
Nov. 12, 11:23 am
to Celtic from bayside says:
Hey - you've been eating too many potatoes spuddy. So by your statement...."And to think he had the balls to celebrate in an Irish bar (with no Irish in there by the way)". So only whites can celebrate in an Irish bar? Why are whites always so insecure? Yes this is the "new" bayside. If you don't like it, why are you still here? If you have a problem with the Asians, why don't you try and do something about it?
Nov. 13, 8:26 am

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