John Liu Looks Back on His ‘Year of Electoral Turmoil’

John Liu during his State Senate campaign. (Photo: Ross Barkan)

John Liu during his State Senate campaign. (Photo: Ross Barkan)

In an email sent to supporters today, John Liu reflected briefly on his year of “transition” and “electoral turmoil,” when he entered academia and tried to unseat a state senator in eastern Queens.

Mr. Liu, a former city comptroller and mayoral candidate, ran an aggressive race against State Senator Tony Avella at the behest of the Queens Democratic Party, but came a few hundred votes short of knocking out the incumbent.

“It’s been a year memorable for its triumphs and tribulations, a year of electoral turmoil, community awakening, and groundswell demands for change,” Mr. Liu said.

“A year not soon to be forgotten. We’ve made some progress, such as in the fight to rein in economic disparity and despair. And we’ve been reminded that there’s still much to fight for, such as a justice system that actually brings justice,” he added.

Mr. Liu, an actuary by training, taught finance classes at Baruch College this year after finishing fourth in the 2013 mayoral primary. Even after losing, he kept up a public schedule and looked for opportunities to return to elected office, where had been since becoming the city’s first Asian-American elected official in 2002.

Mr. Liu has not ruled out future bids for elected office and never denied he was looking at the Senate as a way to springboard him into a future mayor’s race. It’s not out of the question that Mr. Liu takes another shot at Mr. Avella in 2016, this time with the full support of the labor unions that withdrew their backing after a failed deal to put Democrats back in the State Senate majority, sources say.

Mr. Liu was a rising political star and leading mayoral contender until a fund-raising scandal crippled his 2013 campaign.

“It has been a year of transition personally,” Mr. Liu said in the email. “I find teaching municipal finance and public policy at CUNY and at Columbia University to be most productive and profound. And it allows me to continue in the vein of public service, while dabbling in politics here and there.”

John Liu Looks Back on His ‘Year of Electoral Turmoil’