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Comrie Kicks Off His Queens BP Campaign With Push for New Subway Line

 Queens Councilman promises to focus on housing and education.
Leroy Comrie Kicks Off His Queens BP Campaign
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QUEENS — Days after a pair of candidates dropped out of the race for Queens Borough President, Councilman Leroy Comrie, who represents Jamaica, Cambria Heights, and St. Albans, formally declared his candidacy Monday.

“I’m running because I have a burning desire to be the next borough president of Queens,” said Comrie as he stood on the steps of Queens Borough Hall, surrounded by his family members and supporters.

His goals, he said, were to build affordable housing, bring more schools seats to the borough, create more opportunities for Queens residents from the areas hit by Hurricane Sandy, push for another subway line in Queens and change the bus lines in the borough to ensure that they meet residents’ needs.

Comrie is seen as an underdog in the race, which includes a former Councilwoman Melinda Katz, who has been endorsed by the Queens County Democratic Party. But Comrie's supporters said Monday they believe the longtime councilman can win.

“We support him because of his work as a councilman” said Charles Lucas, 92, a Richmond Hill resident. “But he also helped our senior center many times,” said Lucas about the Alpha Phi Alpha senior center in Cambria Heights.

Jessica Brown, 30, a motorcycle enthusiast from Richmond Hill, said Comrie “has always helped out the motorcycle community,” including supporting their efforts to enhance motorcycle safety.

Comrie said that he will fight for equal opportunities for all residents and ethnic groups. He also promised to build coalitions with various legislators, non-profits and activists, which he said would allow him to be more effective in his work in the borough.

“We are going to be positive about what we are doing,” he said. “I am better than no man, but I’m equal to all.”

Councilman Peter Vallone, state Senator Tony Avella and a Republican candidate Aurelio “Tony” Arcabascio are also running for the borough presidency. 

Two other candidates, state Sen. Jose Peralta and deputy borough president Barry Grodenchik, dropped out of the race late last month.