Councilman Leroy Comrie today announced an end to his bid for Queens borough president, citing “personal matters” as his reason for leaving the race.
“After careful consideration, my family and I believe, due to personal matters, this is the best course of action,” Mr. Comrie said in a statement. “I remain steadfast in my faith and belief in government and it is a true honor to continue to serve the people of Southeast Queens in my capacity as Councilman.”
Mr. Comrie surprised some in the political establishment when he decided to continue his campaign after the Queens Democratic Party in May endorsed a rival candidate, Melinda Katz. Despite mulling leaving the race, Mr. Comrie continued to score endorsements, including former Mayor David Dinkins, and held a campaign kickoff event last month on the steps of Queens Borough Hall.
Queens Democratic insiders weren’t sure about the legitimacy of Mr. Comrie’s campaign, however. Some had predicted, accurately ultimately, that he would eventually exit the race around the time when petitions were due to be handed in this week. He remains close to the county organization and would have complicated Ms. Katz’s path to victory against rivals like Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., a strong fund-raiser.
Mr. Comrie, who is term-limited, has been a rumored candidate for deputy borough president or even the sseat occupied by indicted State Senator Malcolm Smith. With his exit, only Ms. Katz, Mr. Vallone Jr. and State Senator Tony Avella remain in the Democratic primary.
“Queens is one of the greatest boroughs in our city, and I am thankful to everyone for the opportunity to showcase my platform for inclusion and empowerment and express my passion for the borough that was afforded me in this race,” Mr. Comrie said. “I am looking forward to serving the people of Queens—in one capacity or another—for a long time to come.”