State Sen. Malcolm Smith’s (D-Hollis) ongoing federal corruption trial certainly isn’t helping his re-election campaign.
But image aside, the senator is facing a more practical and possibly equally daunting challenge in the 14th Senate District — the defection of big labor support, and presumably union money and ground troops, to former Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie.
Comrie, with far more name recognition than fellow Smith challengers Munir Avery, Bernadette Semple and Clyde Vanel, now also has the support of Communications Workers of America District 1 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, according to a statement issued by his campaign on Tuesday.
Comrie already has the backing of the Queens Democratic Party.
In a not-so-veiled reference to Smith’s current troubles, both unions made prominent mention of Comrie’s reputation for personal character.
“The dedicated and committed public servant brings an outstanding record and demonstrated integrity throughout his distinguished career as a key aide to an elected official, community school board president, Council member and Deputy Borough President,” the CWA said in its statement.
Chris Erikson, business manager of IBEW Local 3, struck a similar note.
“Time and time again, Leroy has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the needs of working people and their families ..., ” he said. “He brings unquestioned integrity to public service.”
Comrie welcomed the support.
“I am proud to receive the support of the CWA and the IBEW,” he said in a statement issued by the campaign. “These men and women are truly committed to making our community a better, more viable place to live and work. I am honored to stand firmly with them in their dedication to our city and I am looking forward to our partnership in the future.”
Smith’s campaign could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.