State Sen. Tony Avella, who recently called serving in Congress a “dream” job, has now decided to take a pass on running for retiring Rep. Gary Ackerman’s seat, Avella’s spokesman said.
The spokesman, Edward Fleming, said in a phone interview that Avella only wanted to run for the seat with backing from the Queens Democratic Party, which instead is going with Assemblywoman Grace Meng.
“He was only going to run if he had the Democratic support,” Fleming said. “He’s now prepared to support Grace Meng.”
Avella was among the candidates who interviewed with Queens Democratic chairman/Congressman Joe Crowley. Like several other candidates spurned on the party endorsement, he did not attend a meeting this morning where Meng was officially given the party nod.
Avella passing on the race means there will likely to be a three-way Democratic primary for Ackerman’s seat, between Meng, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, and Councilwoman Liz Crowley, who told City & State this morning that she was running.
Avella, a freshman in the New York Senate, now faces a complicated first re-election campaign for his seat, since he was placed by Republicans in the same Senate district as fellow Democratic Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky. Insiders say Avella is expected to soon announced that he will run for re-election to that seat matter what — even if that means running against Stavisky.
Meanwhile, longtime Republican ex-State Sen. Frank Padavan, who lost his seat to Avella in 2010, continues to seriously eye a run for the Senate seat. Queens Republicans say it was made more friendly for a possible Padavan run in the second iteration of the Legislature’s redistricting map, as compared to the first round.
A Democratic source writes in to say that the claim made to me by Queens Republicans about Avella’s district becoming more GOP-friendly may be inaccurate. This source said the district went from 62.3 percent Democratic performance in the initial redistricting maps to 63.4 percent in the ones passed by the Legislature.
Trackback from your site.