Comrie Officially Announces Candidacy

Staff Writer

Following months of speculation, former New York City Councilman Leroy Comrie announced that he has officially thrown his hat in the race to replace embattled State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Jamaica).

Comrie joins attorneys Munir Avery and Clyde Vanel, as well as Navy veteran Bernadette Semple, in the race to unseat Smith, who is presently awaiting trial on corruption charges.

Leroy Comrie

Leroy Comrie

“I’ve had an overwhelming amount of requests from people to step forward and come back into public service as an elected official,” Comrie said.

In order to run for the Senate seat, Comrie stepped down from his role as Deputy Borough President last week, although he said that he will still be working closely with Borough Hall.

“I stepped down from the Deputy Borough President, but am still working at Borough Hall as a special assistant,” he said. “I stepped down from the policy position because it’s required for someone running for public office not to be in a policy making position.”

According to a spokesperson for Borough President Melinda Katz, no replacement for Comrie has been named as of yet.

Comrie noted that his decision to run was not motivated by Smith’s legal woes, but rather, his passion for the Southeast Queens community.

“This is not about that. This is about ensuring that we have a State Senator that can be effective – someone people have confidence and faith in,” he said. “I just have a passion for public service and I have a love for people.”

A spokesperson for Smith declined to comment.

Reach Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or or @nkozikowska.