Many of the races involving a primary challenge to a former member of the Independent Democratic Conference feature political newcomers, like Alessandra Biaggi facing Sen. Jeff Klein in the Bronx, or Zellnor Myrie vying with Sen. Jess Hamilton in Brooklyn.
Not so in the 11th district in Queens, where John Liu—one-time Councilmember, one-term city comptroller, 2013 candidate for mayor and 2014 runner for state Senate—is for the second time facing off with Tony Avella, himself a veteran of the Council and a long-shot 2009 mayoral run.
The two men agree on most policy issues. They both disagree, for instance, with Mayor de Blasio’s bid to change the entrance process for the city’s specialized high schools. Voters will, of course, decide what the race is about, but if the candidates have anything to say about it, the contest will come down to whether the supposed practical benefits of Avella’s having joined the IDC outweigh the allege damage that did to the chances for a Democratic senate.
Both men appeared on Max & Murphy on WBAI this Wednesday. Below are each of their interviews, and the full show, where we also spoke with attorney general hopeful Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.
Sen. Tony Avella: