It’s not unusual for groups to endorse candidates, but when one not only throws its support but also announces so strongly that it’s putting its money where its mouth is, that’s a bit less common.
That’s what happened Monday when the New York League of Conservation Voters’ political action committee endorsed incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) for re-election to the 11th District.
Avella is being opposed in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary by former city Comptroller John Liu of Flushing, who was endorsed by the county Democrats. Avella angered the party earlier this year for joining the Independent Democratic Conference in Albany, composed of five state senators with an alliance to the Senate Republicans to form a majority.
In supporting Avella, the NYLCV PAC announced it will spend “a significant five-figure sum” to get him re-elected. No specific figure was mentioned.
It will conduct door-to-door canvassing and live and automated phone banking, provide literature and use smartphone-enabled voter tools to get out the vote.
Calling him “the right candidate for a greener, cleaner Queens,” Marcia Bystryn, president of the NYLCV pointed to Avella’s leadership in children’s health and clean drinking water.
Avella said he was honored to receive the endorsement. “They were instrumental in helping to push the Child Safe Products Act this legislative session and have stood with me to fight for the ban on ivory sales.”
Also recently endorsing the incumbent were the Sierra Club, the state Public Employees Federation, the NYC Police Benevolent Association, the Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York, Council of Administrators and Supervisors and the Citizens Union, a good government group.
Liu has the support of several labor unions, including the State Laborers PAC, DC 37 and elected Democratic officials in the borough, as well as New York Communities for Change.
Avella was endorsed by Rep. Steve Israel (D- Nassau, Suffolk and Queens) and Mayor de Blasio.