Liu, 47, will enter a primary against Queens Democrat incumbent Tony Avella, who angered party leaders earlier this year by joining a faction of breakaway Dems who jointly control the Senate with the GOP. “This is John’s reemergence,” the source said. “He sees it as an opportunity to contribute.”
Liu served four years as city controller and is a former city councilman. He ran an unsuccessful primary campaign for mayor last year.
As controller, his campaign finances were probed, but he was never charged.
“A lot of people feel he got a raw deal,” the source said. “I think there’ll be an awful lot of excitement around his candidacy.”
He has already met with key union leaders and hired consultant Neal Kwatra, a former chief of staff to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman with deep union ties.
A Liu candidacy means two members of the five-member breakaway Democratic faction are facing primaries from traditional Democrats this year.
In addition to Avella, Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) is being challenged by former state Attorney General Oliver Koppell.
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William Fitzpatrick, a co-chairman of Gov. Cuomo’s now-defunct anti-corruption commission, is being branded a hypocrite by some Albany insiders.
Fitzpatrick, the Onondaga County district attorney, has repeatedly ripped lawmakers for misusing their campaign cash to fund their lifestyles.
“Bill Fitzpatrick is dripping with hypocrisy, and every time he opens up his mouth he makes it worse,” said one insider.
He’s hit the links in such places as Hawaii, Riviera Beach, Fla., and Hilton Head, S.C. And he’s eaten at upscale eateries from Toronto to New York City to Florida.
While the outlays are legal, “they seem to sit in a gray area that the commission was charged with making more clear,” a second legislative source said.
He deemed the spending as legitimate campaign expenses that “promotes me as district attorney” and said that the bulk of the golf outings were for charity.
“It’s a nice way to promote my name and sometime reward staff members so they can have an afternoon off,” he said.
Fitzpatrick called the comparison between his spending and that of the lawmakers “apples to elephants.”
“I didn’t pay for tanning sessions,” he said, referencing findings of the commission. “I didn’t pay for cigars. I didn’t pay for Do-Do the Clown.”
But the first source wasn’t buying it. “If there was a god of using campaign cash for personal use, all of Albany would bow down to Bill Fitzpatrick. For now, they just dismiss him,” he said.