Mayoral candidate and former Comptroller John Liu did not need to be at the Self-Help Innovative Senior Center last Tuesday. Many Flushing residents who stopped by to vote at the polling site located on 45-25 Kissena Boulevard supported him any way.
“He’s got this locked up,” said Alfred Lee, 72, a retiree and long-time Flushing resident of Chinese descent. “He’s got to go to the Bronx and the other boroughs; he doesn’t need to be in Queens.”
Tung F. Cheng, a volunteer with the Liu campaign, said that he is proud that Liu might become the first Asian American mayor of New York City.
“We don’t have enough Asian Americans running for political office,” he said. “It’s been great that he’s been able to win every election he has run for. I’m glad that he keeps going even without the funding the other candidates are getting. He’s going from borough to borough. He’s on the grounds doing a very grassroots campaign.”
Despite the strong support coming from the Asian American community, Liu only managed to muster seven percent of the final vote, much to the disappointment of his Asian American supporters.
“We need to be more united,” said Rao Gangadhar, referring to the Asian American electorate.
Gangadhar, 60, a doctor and Flushing resident, said that like him, many other Indian Americans he knows voted for Liu because of the relationship Liu has built with the Hindu temples in the area.
“When he won for comptroller, we were so happy,” he said.
Even with the wide swath of support in the community for Liu, some voters in Flushing were not completely convinced that Liu was the right man for the job of mayor because of his inexperience.
“I think he’s not ready. The staff, the group, is not strong enough,” said Tom Chou, 75, a retired Chinese-American businessman. “As an Asian American, I wish him luck, but this time, I don’t know if he’ll get a piece of the meat.”
John Liu received 42.2 percent (7,476 votes) out of 16,282 votes in precincts with a majority Asian/Asian-American population, including Flushing, according to the New York Times. A request for the official count at the Self-Help Innovative Senior Center was denied.