Hoping the second time will be the charm, Republican Phil Gim announced Saturday that he will run against Democratic incumbent Ron Kim for the 40th Assembly District seat.
Gim, a small business owner, lost to Kim two years ago by more than a two-to-one margin; garnering 32 percent of the vote.
In announcing his candidacy, he pledged to stand up for the “hardworking residents of his district” and pointed to what he considers the continuing deterioration of government services due to tax dollars being siphoned off to other districts.
“We have more potholes in our pavement, more traffic jamming our streets and more tickets on our windshields,” he said.
Gim said that the cost of living in Queens “has skyrocketed,” while household incomes in the Flushing and Whitestone district have dropped 10 percent in the last five years.
The economy is a major focus of his campaign and he added: “For many New Yorkers, achieving the American dream has come second to just getting through the week.”
Gim asked for the community’s support, saying: “Together we can build a better New York, one community at a time.”
He is a graduate of Brooklyn Tech High School and for many years worked for the U.S. Postal Service. He also served as a supervisor for the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census.
Kim, the incumbent, says that since taking office 1 1/2 years ago, he has been active in the community.
“I have passed crucial pieces of legislation, and my district office has provided important services for our constituents such as HEAP [Home Energy Assistance Program] free tax assistance, and legal aid,” he said.
Kim added that his office has serviced over 13,000 constituent cases, “an unprecedented number that really demonstrates the particular needs of our community.
“I have also started community initiatives such as our CleanFlushing Initiative and GRIT awards to beautify and recognize the uniqueness of our neighborhood and the people who make up our neighborhood.”
The incumbent was also instrumental in working out a compromise in the dispute between senior citizens and a Flushing McDonald’s over how the elderly were monopolizing tables for socializing during peak business hours.
Kim is a graduate of Hamilton College and earned his master’s degree at Baruch College.
He has worked in city and state government and before being running for the Assembly two years ago was regional representative for former Gov. Paterson in the Mayor’s Office.