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Candidate to replace indicted Senator gets strong showing of support

Leroy Comrie is joined by elected officials and supporters
Leroy Comrie is joined by elected officials and supporters
k.clements, clements communications inc.

"There’s no one better than Leroy!”

This came from District Leader Elmer Blackburne. He was but one of the many Southeast Queens leadership members who came out on Tuesday, August 11 to support Leroy Comrie in his bid for New York State Senate in District 14.

Led by Congressman Gregory Meeks, the large contingent of supporters included nearly all of the Council Members, Assembly Members, District Leaders, Civic and Union Leaders that cover Southeast Queens. Not only was there a show of support from area elected officials, but from neighboring Districts as well, including Councilman Rory Lancman, Assembly Members David Weprin (District 24: Richmond Hills, Jamaica Estates), Nily Rozic (District 25 Bayside & Flushing) and Mike Simanowitz (District 27: Flushing, College Point).

The Congressman noted that every level of government and key neighborhoods were represented in support of Comrie. “We want to make sure the state is entirely blue,” said Meeks.

Supporters took their turn at the podium to speak about Comrie’s background in the City Council, his works and emphasized the need to be united in City and State efforts.

“It’s really important times in New York City to advance the progressive agenda,” said Councilman Lancman.

There was little talk of the incumbent, Senator Malcolm Smith, who is running to retain his seat. Senator Smith is facing charges for his role in a bribery scheme for the NYC Mayorial seat. Recently, co-defendant Councilman Daniel Halloran, who was tried alongside the Senator prior to the case ending in a mistrial, was convicted.

At the podium, there was talk about the need to fill a void.

“The governor is not running any special elections,” said Comrie in an interview after the press conference. If Senator Smith is convicted, the seat would stand empty until a special election is called. “We have real needs and real issues. We cannot afford to have a void,” he said.

Leroy is the former City Councilman for District 27 which covers St. Albans, Jamaica, Cambria Heights, Jamaica and Hollis, areas which are part of Senatorial District 14. Comrie ran for Queens Borough President in 2013, but pulled out of the race due to lackluster fundraising. He was then appointed as the Queens Deputy Borough President in a move that was applauded by former constituents. He stepped down from that position to become Special Assistant in order to run for NYS Senate.

The Primary Election is on September 9th. Several debates for candidates in the running are being scheduled in the community in the upcoming weeks.