Support For Mayoral Candidate John Liu Could Translate To Stronger Support From Asian Community For Local Pols

(source: Michael Appleton for NY Times)
Mayoral candidate John Liu (Source: Michael Appleton for NY Times).

Queens-based Comptroller John Liu has gained the support of prominent Southern Brooklyn Democrats in his bid to for mayor. Politicker is reporting that demographics and Liu’s popularity among Asian communities in Southern Brooklyn have led to endorsements, despite Liu’s flagging campaign.

Liu’s campaign for mayor is not going so great, with most polls placing him in fifth place. Despite the long odds, Liu is enjoying the support of Assembylmen William Colton and Peter Abbate and prominent City Council candidates Mark Treyger and Ari Kagan. Politicker described the ringing endorsements expressed by Colton at a recent event:

“When you listen to the people, when you listen in the schools, when you listen in the senior centers, when you listen in the houses, you find you hear something very different than what these polls are saying,” boomed Assemblyman Bill Colton yesterday at a small Bensonhurst park, as Mr. Liu, the comptroller, stood at his side. “Don’t listen to polls, don’t listen to the propaganda that is put forth by those who want to keep power for themselves.”
At the event, Mr. Colton and Mark Treyger, a former Colton staffer running for a Coney Island-based City Council seat with a mass of labor and official endorsements, both announced their support for Mr. Liu, who in turn backed Mr. Treyger.
In their remarks, Mr. Colton and Mr. Treyger cited their long-standing ties to Mr. Liu, whom they said, as a councilman, had lent his assistance to quell racially-motivated violence at a local school even though Mr. Liu served in Queens.

The endorsements of Colton, Abbate, Treyger and Kagan come as no surprise considering the strong and growing Asian presence in districts these politicians operate in. In August, we reported on a map, based on the latest census data, that color-coded Brooklyn based on race and ethnicity. Based on the map, the concentration of Asian community members in the 43rd, 47th and 48th districts are clearly strong.

district-census-overlay2

Politicker broke down the numbers and explained the importance for Southern Brooklyn politicians in courting the Asian vote:

Mr. Abbate and Mr. Colton’s districts, roping in parts of Bensonhurst, are 51 and 32 percent Asian respectively, according to Census data. The district Mr. Treyger is seeking to represent is a quarter Asian. Even Mr. Kagan’s district, predominately Russian and Orthodox Jewish, has a 14 percent chunk of Asian voters.
“John Liu is enormously popular in Chinese-American and Asian neighborhoods. It is a community notoriously difficult to poll,” Michael Tobman, a consultant who works with Messers. Colton, Treyger and Kagan, told Politicker. Still, he stressed that personal ties had superseded political motivations in the cases of their endorsements. “Whatever the numbers are, they’re low.”

Liu dismissed the endorsements as being purely political.

“It’s because of these particular individuals I have worked with for a very long time,” Liu told Politicker.

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