Former City Council Member and City Comptroller John Liu could not be reached for comment at post time, but all signs point to his again challenging State Sen. Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) for his seat in the upcoming Sept. 13 primary.

    That after True Blue NY, a coalition of grassroots groups that support progressive values, announced over the weekend to get Liu’s name on the ballot before the deadline on Thursday at midnight.

    John Liu

    Sen. Tony Avella

    “We have exciting news!” True Blue NY announced on Facebook last Thursday night. “We’re launching a secret surprise sneak attack on our final IDC member, Tony Avella — BUT WE ONLY HAVE THIS WEEKEND TO DO IT.”

    True Blue NY needs 3,000 signatures for Liu to run against Avella, the last Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) member challenged by a Democrat.

    A representative from True Blue NY stated Liu is the best candidate to challenge Avella as part of True Blue Democrats challenging every former IDC member.

    “It’s a testament to the enthusiasm and the power of progressive activism in NY, and to the enthusiasm for John Liu that we were able to mobilize so many volunteers so quickly,” said Mia Pearlman, founder, and co-leader of True Blue NY. “New Yorkers are sick of fake Democrats like Tony Avella who empower Republicans to block the very legislation that would protect us from the toxic Trump regime.”

    Avella held the 11th New York Senate district seat since 2010. He was also a colleague with Liu in the City Council from 2002 to 2009. 

    In 2014, Avella joined the IDC, a group of Democrats with a power-sharing agreement with the New York State Senate Republican Conference.

    Liu ran against Avella in 2014 after a failed mayoral bid and lost by fewer than 1,000 votes in the September primary. He previously served as the 43rd New York City Comptroller and as the first Asian American elected to the NYC city council.

    Liu was also considered one of the frontrunners in the 2013 mayoral race until a scandal involving alleged use of straw campaign donors forced him to pull out of the race.

    The scandal was controversial in that some thought it was politically motivated and resulted in Liu losing about $3.5 million in public matching funds.

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