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Queens Chronicle

And then there were 3: Comrie bows out

Councilman cites personal reasons; no announcement on future plans

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013 10:30 am

Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) ended his quest for the job of Queens borough president on Friday, citing personal matters.

“After careful consideration, my family and I believe, due to personal matters, this is the best course of action.” Comrie said in a statement released by his campaign.

“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,” Comrie said. “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.

“I am looking forward to serving the people of Queens — in one capacity or another — for a long time to come.”

It will not be as a councilman come January, when Comrie is term-limited out of office after 12 years.

Reached by phone on Monday the councilman would not elaborate on any plans for the future.

“None that I can announce at this time,” he said.

The decision from the Comrie camp leaves three standing for the Democratic nomination.

Former Councilwoman and Assembly member Melinda Katz of Forest Hills has been endorsed by the Queens County Democratic Party, and is facing City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayisde).

The winner of the Democratic primary on Sept. 10 is expected to be a prohibitive favorite on Election Day against Republican Tony Arcabascio of Astoria, a technology executive. Also running are Everly Brown and Socialist Seth Galinsky of Ozone Park.

Borough President Helen Marshall, a Democrat, will leave office in January because of term limits.

No information was available from the Board of Elections on how many nominating petitions Comrie did or did not turn in by the July 11 deadline, but campaign finance documents made public on Monday showed Comrie already had an uphill battle against Vallone and Katz in fundraising [See related story].

Vallone has raised more than $1 million. His reported cash on hand for the July 15 deadline was $577,879, a figure higher than the $485,735 that Katz has raised in her entire campaign.

Katz reported cash on hand at $320,114. Comrie, who was rumored to have had lackluster fundraising, reported $167,981 in donations and just under $40,000 remaining in the bank. Avella has spent a little more than $19,000 of the $70,773 he has raised.

Arcabascio reported a campaign deficit of $193, having collected $4,510 and spent $4,703. Brown has raised $1,701 and spent $423. Galinsky listed zero contributions.

Comrie did not make any endorsements among the remaining candidates, but thanked all in his corner for an enjoyable ride.

“I want to thank my many supporters who expressed to me their belief that I could be a great borough president and I cannot express my gratitude enough for the efforts they have made on my behalf,” he said.

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