Two-term Brooklyn Councilmember David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg) lost in a Democratic primary run-off to his Queens colleague Councilmember John Liu (D-Flushing), ending his bid to be the city’s next Comptroller.
“John Liu earned a well-deserved victory and I’m sure he will be a terrific Comptroller for the city of New York,” said Yassky, surrounded by his family, to a crowd of over one hundred friends and supporters at his Manhattan post-campaign party. “There is still a vision of government that I believe in deeply, that you all believe in deeply, and truly tens of thousands of New Yorkers share and that vision has animated all of you tonight.”
Liu received 55.68 percent of the vote (127,173 votes) to Yassky’s 44.32 percent, (101,215). The numbers for both candidates were actually about 7,000 votes less than they received two weeks ago, during the Democratic primary.Yassky survived the four-way primary, finishing with 30.5 percent of the vote, to Liu’s 38.02 percent, forcing a runoff, after candidates Queens Councilmembers Melinda Katz and David Weprin were defeated.
“The campaign ends tonight but the work that we have to do continues, and I hope all of you continue to do that work,” said Yassky.
The race to succeed City Comptroller William Thompson, who is leaving his seat to oppose Mayor Bloomberg’s reelection bid, has been one of the most expensive comptroller campaigns in city history, with both Yassky and Liu spending over $4 million for the opportunity to run the city’s pension funds.
Many Yassky supporters say that the Comptroller race was won on the ground, giving credit to Liu’s support among the Working Families Party and union workers throughout the city.Evan Thies, a former staff member and Council candidate who lost his own bid to succeed Yassky in the City Council’s 33rd District, has been volunteering with the Yassky campaign since he lost two weeks ago.
“He ran a really good race and I hope for all our sakes, he stays in public life in some capacity. All of us are better off if David Yassky is in elected office,” said Thies.
Rabbi David Niederman, Executive Director of the UJO, and a long-time backer of Yassky, agreed, saying, “David is a great public servant.He is not going away.He’s coming back stronger.”
Liu, the first Asian-American elected to citywide office, will face Republican Joe Mendola in the general election.