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Mar 19 2014

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Race to replace Avella gets more interesting

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John Liu’s name recognition is strong, if not stronger than Tony Avella in District 11.

The future is unwritten, or is it?

Since his recent betrayal of the Democratic Party left him alone in the woods, everyone is wondering who will rise to the occasion and primary “maverick” state Sen. Tony Avella?

With all the hypotheses circulating around town we’ve all managed to miss one little thing: With every possible candidate in north Queens comfortable and safe in their seats, there’s only one viable candidate that has enough political clout and name recognition to battle the 800 pound gorilla that is Tony Avella.

That candidate is none other than John Liu, the only candidate with nothing to lose.

With Liu’s recent endorsement of Grace Meng, Congress was out of the question and Peter Koo easily won reelection, so a Council run won’t happen, at least not for another four years. And since no incumbent in their right mind wants to risk losing their seat to take on Tony, what’s left? Where will Liu run? Everyone knows Liu is a natural leader destined to run again, so how about where he lives in SD 11?

Could it happen? While whites are a majority in the district, Liu’s name recognition could overcome the tribal nature of politics in Queens; where people tend to vote according to race. But this is not a general election, and Joe voter on the street (who love Tony unabashedly) won’t be showing up for a primary, county supporters will. If it comes to pass, the low turnout primary will be a bare knuckle, door-to-door marathon not an endorsement and fundraising sprint. Tony will have to get enough boots on the ground and run the ultimate pull operation to have a fighting chance against a strong County-backed candidate like John Liu.

Reality will soon set in when Avella’s traditional support network will not be there for him. This matchup could split labor forces as well, further diminishing Tony’s chances. In this scenario, Liu could win. And While the hunt to replace Avella may end with John Liu  (the only candidate that could beat him) it’s also Liu’s best option right now.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/03/race-to-replace-avella-gets-more-interesting-everyday/


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