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Boro Democratic Party backs Liu in comptroller race

Endorsements are coming fast and furious in the four−way race for city comptroller, with the three Queens candidates and the Brooklyn contender picking up a major backer in the last week.

City Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing), Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D−Forest Hills), Councilman David Weprin (D−Hollis) and Councilman David Yassky (D−Brooklyn) have been steadily amassing support in what is shaping up to be the most hotly contested race for citywide office this year.

Liu made a big splash in the race Tuesday, securing the backing of the Queens Democratic Party after party officials initially questioned his stepping into the race in the first place.

When Liu, who had initially registered to run for the public advocate’s seat, joined the race for comptroller in March, Queens Democratic party officials openly expressed concern about the glut of borough candidates in the race.

But the city’s first Asian−American city councilman was endorsed “by an overwhelming margin” Tuesday morning, according to Liu’s longtime chief−of−staff, John Choe, who attended the event.

But Liu was not the only member of the race to win strong backing.

Katz continued to fortify her already strong base of support in the Bronx last week, securing the endorsement of the borough’s Democratic Party and that of Councilmen Joel Rivera (D−Bronx) and James Vacca (D−Bronx) and state Assemblymen Jeffrey Dinowitz (D−Bronx), Carl Heastie (D−Bronx) and Michael Benedetto (D−Bronx).

“There are a lot of politicians out there who claim to know the concerns of their constituents, but Melinda truly knows how to relate to working families,” said Councilwoman Helen Diane Foster (D−Bronx), who has been a staunch supporter of Katz since she launched her campaign in April.

Weprin, meanwhile, recently picked up the backing of the Staten Island Democratic Party and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which represents nearly 50,000 active and retired city police officers.

“David Weprin has fought long and hard for New York’s working families and its police officers who struggle day in and day out to hold their lives together in this tough town,” said PBA President Patrick Lynch, following the endorsement.

Yassky also secured the support of two of the city’s five boroughs, landing the backing of both the Manhattan Democratic Party and the Brooklyn Democratic Organization.

“While dynamic and progressive leaders continue to join our campaign, I remain focused on fighting to deliver results and an accountable city government for taxpayers,” Yassky said. “I look forward to working with these organizations throughout this campaign and as comptroller to create jobs and rebuild our economy for all those New Yorkers who have been forgotten and left behind.”

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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