At Hotel Chantelle on Monday evening, Yuh-Line Niou officially kicked off her campaign for Sheldon Silver’s former seat in the New York State Assembly. She becomes the fifth candidate to formally announce her candidacy ahead of the Democratic Primary in September.
In an April special election, Niou ran on the Working Families Party line and collected more than 6,000 votes. She was defeated by Alice Cancel, the Democratic Party nominee. Cancel was chosen by the local County committee in a controversial selection process. Niou received most of the endorsements from party heavyweights and had a lot more campaign money at her disposal.
Niou lives in Battery Park City with her fiance. She was formerly chief of staff to Assembly member Ron Kim of Queens. We were unable to attend Monday’s Lower East Side event. According to a press release, she told supporters, “We are here tonight because we are ready to finish the job we started back in April. Not surprisingly, Albany has not reformed itself, our schools are still overcrowded, the right of workers to organize and earn fair wages is still under attack, tenants are still being harassed out of their homes and too many families still struggle every day to make ends meet.”
City Comptroller Scott Stringer is endorsing Niou. In a statement, he said, “We are here today to continue our campaign to elect a true progressive Democrat to the State Assembly… We are going to win this race and change the status quo, because Yuh-Line has the right progressive values and the right experience to go to Albany and deliver for downtown.”
Other supporters in attendance included Virginia Kee, Jenny Low and Justin Yu, all activists in the United Democratic Organization, a Chinatown political club.
In addition to Cancel and Niou, Paul Newell, Gigi Li and Jenifer Rajkumar have also announced their candidacies. Don Lee and John Bal are planning to compete in the primary, as well. The candidates right now are in the midst of collecting petition signatures to qualify for the September ballot.