BY JORDAN GIBBONS
Former Councilman Leroy Comrie convincingly defeated incumbent State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and attorney Munir Avery in the Primary election for the 14th District Tuesday night.
Smith has held the seat for 13 years, but his legal issues based on an alleged corruption scheme to bribe his way onto the Republican mayoral ticket in 2013 prompted Queens legislators and the Southeast Queens community to call on Comrie to bring a new face to Albany.
Comrie ended up with 69.4 percent of the votes. Smith finished with 18.9 percent and Avery had 11.8 percent. Comrie pulled in more than 9,000 votes out of the impressive 13,000-plus voters who came in droves to the polls for a mid-term primary election.
“I’m just humbled that the numbers are strong and the turnout is better than normal to show the community is making a strong statement of support for my candidacy,” Comrie said
With the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio, Borough President Melinda Katz, U.S. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Jamaica), Councilmembers Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), Comrie was able to gather more than enough votes to bring that change to the State Senate.
“It feels good, it’s a gratifying win,” Comrie said. “It’s a real testament to the power of the community, actually. While I was honored with unprecedented support from every major quarter, I was overwhelmed by the reaction from the community.”
He noted the decline in support Smith received from the community, which has repeatedly been let down by its legislators in the past for a variety of corruption charges.
“They were disappointed in the incumbent and they really wanted someone that would have experience to go to Albany to deal with the major issues that are coming up in the 2015 legislative agenda,” he said.
Reach Jordan Gibbons at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123, firstname.lastname@example.org or @jgibbons2.