“Yeah!” screamed Councilman John Liu when he first approached the microphone at the United Federation of Teachers building in Lower Manhattan. “Thank you so much for this incredible ride. In the words of Taylor Swift, Let’s try this again, shall we?”
On Tuesday night, Liu accepted the Democratic nomination for New York City comptroller after defeating Councilman David Yassky by a margin of 55.7 percent to 45.3 percent in a runoff. “I am deeply honored to stand before you tonight,” said Liu, who celebrated his 14th anniversary with his wife, Jenny, last week. The Queens councilman said he received a phone call from Yassky congratulating him. “David Yassky ran a strong campaign, he did what he needed to do to [try and] win,” Liu said. “I know he loves this city as much as I do.
“In the next coming months and years, I expect that we will work closely on the issues that matter most to the people of New York City,” said Liu.
Support for Liu knew no bounds Tuesday night. People from SEIU 1199 and DC 37 were in attendance, as well as his street team, which the Democratic nominee referred to as “Team Liu.” He also found love amongst other politicians. State Sen. Bill Perkins, Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, Councilman Robert Jackson and Councilwoman Leticia James were some of those in attendance. Also in attendance: the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City, Bill Thompson.
“I can’t think of a better person to run with on the Democratic ticket,” said Thompson. “I know a little something about comptrollers and I think John Liu is going to be one of the greatest comptrollers that New York has ever had.
“I might even like to say the second greatest comptroller the city has ever had,” said Thompson, eliciting laughter from Liu’s supporters.
Another person in attendance was David Weprin, who lost the initial Democratic primary for comptroller and threw his support behind Liu. He stepped to the podium to express Liu’s virtue to city.
“We need a comptroller with extensive financial experience,” Weprin said. “Someone who’s gonna bring together a diverse group of people and coalitions. We have that in John Liu.” Liu agreed.
“The people of this city deserve fiscal responsibility,” Liu stated. “I will ensure accountability and equal opportunity when funds from Washington come in. I will help rebuild crumbling infrastructure, like roads and bridges.
“I will invest in minority and women-owned businesses,” Liu concluded to a loud roar from the crowd.
“In these tough economic times, we’re gonna need a comptroller that’s fired up and ready to go,” said Councilman Jackson. “Liu is fired up and ready to go.”
Liu is heavily favored to win the election in November in this Democrat-dominated metropolis. If he does, he’d be the first Asian American elected to New York City-wide public office. Something that Liu reflected on when he brought his family up to the stage.
“No one appreciates the wonder and possibility of New York City better than me,” said Liu. “We were taught that the inherent promise of this city and this country is that if you work hard, meet your obligations and recognize the social responsibility that belongs to each of us, that you will have every opportunity to do better for yourself and your family.”
With an audience filled with everyone from Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Chinese and Hasidic Jews, Liu has the backing to propel him to victory in November.
“Thank you, New York! Thank you very much! I will not let you down!” declared Liu.