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Jung will not run for office in 2010

Despite widespread rumblings that he was gearing up to run for the state Assembly, S.J. Jung said he does not intend to run for any office this year, leaving what Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) said is currently an open field in the race for her seat.

The Flushing businessman and president of the MinKwon Center, lost to Yen Chou in last year’s Democratic primary to replace outgoing City Councilman John Liu.

“At this point I have no plan to run. If you ask me what’s the possibility, at this point I see zero possibility and I have not actually engaged in any kind of campaign,” he said.

In recent weeks, rumors have swirled about as to whether Jung would run and for which office, and three Flushing Democratic insiders said they believed Jung, a Korean American, could pull off a win against the Chinese-American Meng, especially if another Chinese American also ran against her.

But Jung put such speculation to bed Monday.

“I don’t have any plan to run for office this year, but I do know that people talk and that they continue to mention my name. I take it as an honor and an encouragement to continue to work for my community,” he said.

Jung said he has not been campaigning since his loss in last year’s election and has not started a campaign committee or raised funds for a new campaign, according to state Board of Elections filings. His Council campaign committee had about $26,000 in funds as of a January filing.

Meng said she has been fund-raising in recent months and currently has about $200,000 in her campaign coffers.

“I don’t know of anyone that’s running. I haven’t heard of anyone, but it’s only February and it’s good to be prepared in politics,” she said. “But what I’m trying to be focused on is just doing my work.”

Jung said one of the main reasons he does not plan to run is because he is busy with his work at the Young Korean American Service and Education Center, a Flushing-based nonprofit that assists and advocates on behalf of New York City’s Korean community.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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