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Republican candidate J.D. Kim hopes to open up the buzzing economy of Flushing to the surrounding communities if he defeats incumbent state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) for a Senate seat in November.
According to campaign filings from early October, Kim is severely out-funded in the race. Between July and October, he raised about $7,500 with about $2,000 remaining in his coffers compared to Stavisky, who raised less than $2,000 over the same period but still has a balance of $36,000.
Kim held a fund-raiser last Thursday to try and make up some of the difference in the race, the winner of which will represent parts of Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park Elmhurst, Fresh Meadows and Oakland Gardens.
“My motto is ‘Dedication without equal,’” he told a crowd of about 50 who gathered in the banquet hall of Kum Gang San, at 138-28 Northern Blvd. “I’m a servant. I know how to work hard.”
Kim insists his wife, Young, is the one with charisma, and that he is just a mild-mannered litigation lawyer who has his own firm, a Sunday school teacher at his church and someone who knows how to roll up his sleeves, he said at the event.
Kim hopes to be a liaison between Korean and Chinese small businesses in Flushing and the surrounding areas, and cited studies like a 2011 report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli that shows Flushing far outpaces the rest of the city in economic growth, adding new businesses at a 30 percent higher rate than the other four boroughs between 2000 to 2009.
As a Republican, Kim said he believes there is a lot of work to be done on the economy before adding more legislation and regulation to the state. He did not discuss any specific bills when asked by a reporter, but did support the issue of English language signs to integrate the businesses in Flushing with other areas.
“I see the economy as the real solution,” he said, adding that small businesses are subject to too many fines and regulations.
On social issues, Kim thinks marriage should only be between a man and a woman, but stressed that he has represented gay clients who were discriminated against. On abortion rights, Kim said he is pro-choice during an interview after the event. He also said he is in favor of charter schools.
Kim, who is Korean American, often refers to his style of political maneuvering as unconventional.
During the Democratic primary for the seat, he wrote an open letter saying he respected Stavisky.
And during a candidate forum between the Democratic senator and her primary challenger, Oakland Gardens lawyer John Messer, he repeated his respect for Stavisky and told Messer to “keep up the good work.”
Several other GOPers attended his fund-raiser, including Abe Fuchs, who is taking on Democrat Nily Rozic in a northeast Queens state Assembly race, and Phil Gim, who is up against Democrat Ron Kim in the Flushing Assembly race. After Gim had left the fund-raiser, Kim announced his hope that Gim’s opponent, a Korean American, would win.
Referring to Gim, he said, “Remember him. Please vote for him when there is not a Korean on the other side.”
Kim is endorsed by the Queens County Republican Party and Israeli human rights attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, according to his campaign.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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