The race for City Councilman John Liu’s (D-Flushing) seat got a little less crowded Tuesday as former Democratic contender and Working Families Party endorsee S.J. Jung dropped out of the race.
“I have decided to discontinue my City Council campaign and to serve our district through community service and grassroots advocacy,” Jung said in a statement, noting his name would still appear on the ballot.
“I do so after a great deal of deliberation and despite encouragement from many supporters and allies because I do not believe that a third-party candidacy will best serve the interests of our community at this time.”
Jung, the former executive director at YKASEC, took second place in the Sept. 15 primary with 22.6 percent of the vote, or 1,752 votes, according to the city Board of Elections. He finished behind Yen Chou, a former staffer to Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis), who had 25 percent of the vote with 1,935 votes.
Isaac Sasson, a retired cancer researcher who came in third in the Democratic primary with 22.4 percent of the vote, or 1,741 votes, decided to cross party lines this week, throwing his support behind Republican candidate Peter Koo.
“Our friendship goes back to our membership on Community Board 7 where we both served, and I can attest to Peter’s distinguished and inspired leadership in that august body,” Sasson said in a statement. “Now is not the time to put untested and novice candidates in office in our district.”
The 20th District ballot marks the rise of viable Asian-American candidates in city politics. Both Koo and Chou are Chinese-Americans. Jung is Korean-American, as is former Democratic Council contender John Choe.
The general election is Nov. 3.
Koo also got the nod from Flushing Democratic District Leader Terence Park.
“This November election between Yen Chou and Peter Koo is not about Democrat or Republican, but about who has the leadership, knowledge, integrity, experience, dedication and commitment to be the next City Council member,” Park said in a statement. “This is about electing a candidate who truly cares for the community and voting for the individual who can effectively represent our district.”
The 20th District includes the communities of Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Mitchell Gardens, Kissena Park, Harding Heights, Auburndale and a portion of Whitestone.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.