State Senator Tony Avella (D) announced yesterday that he will be running in the general election come November as an Independent and Women’s Equality lines.
Avella lost the Democratic Primary in the 11th Senate District to come-back darling John Liu last month, in an unexpected shock to the controversial incumbent.
The race was a rematch from the 2014 primary, which Avella narrowly won. This time around however, Avella lost to growing anti-Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) sentiment that also ousted five other of his colleagues. The IDC was formerly a group of eight breakaway democrats that caucused with State Republicans led by State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx).
“Although I was disappointed in the results of the Democratic Primary, I have been astounded by the level of support I have received since then from all aspects of our community. Families for Tony Avella, a grassroots group, has formed to promote my candidacy in the General Election since I will be on the ballot on the Independence and Women’s Equality lines,” said Avella.
The announcement will pin Avella against Liu for a third time and against strong Republican candidate Vickie Paladino on Nov. 6.
Avella has 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. The diverse district covers College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood.
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.
Paladino defeated newcomer Simon Minching to win the GOP primary with 1,640 votes or 55.82% to 1,220 votes or 41.52%, respectively. The outspoken individual, first coming to prominence in a confrontation with Mayor Bill de Blasio last summer over his trip to Germany.
Avella hopes to use local support from the group Families For Tony Avella and his native roots to propel him to a win this time around.
“I was born and raised in Queens. I live in this community and I care deeply about our quality of life. After listening to my fellow residents I cannot simply walk away from the battles we have fought together to keep our quality of life and maintain the character of our neighborhoods,” added Avella.
The longtime political figure claims that his two other opponents in the race are too inexperienced with the needs of the local community.
“The battles we face every day are too important to hand over to either of these two primary winners. Our future quality of life depends on it,” concluded Avella.
The general election will be held on Nov. 6.