New York's Mayoral Race: John Liu

It’s a testament to the tenacity of John Liu, the City’s Comptroller and mayoral candidate, that despite the devastating decision by the New York City Campaign Finance board to deny him public matching funds recently after three of his fundraisers were found guilty of campaign fraud, he is still in the Democratic primary race. And he is not quitting. “It’s a terrible decision and very unfortunate,” he says. “But we’re going full speed ahead.”

The Taiwanese-born, Queens-raised Liu has been crisscrossing the five boroughs, hosting town halls and pressing the flesh door to door, making the case directly to voters that the New York City needs someone like him: the son of immigrants, an outsider with a fresh vision, who will transform Gotham from the inside out, making it more fair to immigrants and the working class.

Liu confessed that his round the clock campaigning leaves him with little time to sleep—yet all his hard work might not show up in polls. He’s lagging fifth behind scandal-clad Weiner with 6 percent of the vote. The 46-year-old says those polls don’t matter; folks who will vote for him—Asian Americans, Latinos and African Americans are rarely polled. (If no candidate garners 40 percent of the vote, the top two will head to a runoff). Liu says that “sleep in overrated. I think I average roughly eight hours in three days time.”

The married father of one son says he is driven by a passion to make this city the place of great opportunity as it was for his parents, who immigrated to the US in the 1970’s when he was 5. “We are an international city and we can do far better,” he declared. “This is a city where if you always work hard and dream big you can achieve great success but this promise has been broken. This city is too much about the rich and powerful and leaving everybody behind.”

Read the interview with the candidate on page 2 >>