"The chairman of the Assembly’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus has endorsed Working Families Party candidate Yuh-Line Niou for the seat of disgraced former Speaker Sheldon Silver—bucking Mr. Silver’s allies in his old Lower Manhattan turf, who have nominated district leader Alice Cancel to replace him.
Brooklyn Assemblyman Nick Perry announced today he was backing Ms. Niou, chief of staff to Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim, over Ms. Cancel in the special election in April, even though Ms. Cancel is the candidate on the Democratic line. The Democratic county committee in the district, on which many of Mr. Silver’s closest confidantes sit, picked Ms. Cancel to be his successor earlier this month.
Ms. Niou, also a Democrat, vowed at the meeting of the committee to carry on her campaign on the WFP line.
“This district needs a proven fighter for low income families and people of color. This district needs someone with real experience helping seniors, tenants, and school parents access government support and services. This district needs a real progressive who can do the job with integrity and restore people’s trust in government,” Mr. Perry said in a statement. “And that person is Yuh-Line Niou.”
"That’s why the county committee vote is essentially the only election the matters. One of the candidates running was Yuh-Line Niou, a 33-year old former chief of staff for Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat from Queens. She shattered the illusion that the election was still up for grabs by using her pre-vote speech to call it a sham.
“Let's be honest here this process is not one anyone would've chosen. It doesn't reflect the diversity of our district and it's not very democratic,” she said.
There were audible gasps from the crowd when she announced she’d be running on the Working Families line in April rather than seek the Democratic nomination. She also said she would be run in the general-election primary in September, when the current term expires."
"... The mechanics of the selection process so disgusted one of Ms. Cancel’s opponents, Yuh-Line Niou, the chief of staff to Assemblyman Ron Kim, Democrat of Queens, that Ms. Niou dropped out of the running in her nomination speech on Sunday, calling it “undemocratic.” Even if committee members felt free to defy their club endorsements, she and other critics said, individual members’ votes were weighted, giving more power to election districts that had higher turnout in the 2014 governor’s race.
Ms. Niou will run instead for the Working Families Party, a left-leaning, labor-backed group, positioning herself as the candidate of reform. She is also hoping to attract the support of Chinatown, whose expanding voter base has made the district far more diverse than the days when Mr. Silver’s constituents from the Lower East Side dominated.
“I think that anybody would be bothered by how the system worked,” Ms. Niou said in an interview. “I don’t think that it’s right.”"
"A vote for Ms. Cancel on Sunday by members of the New York County Democratic Committee, however, didn’t go off without a hitch. One of the other Democrats vying for the nomination Assembly aide Yuh-Line Niou, said before the vote that she was dropping out of the race, calling it a flawed and undemocratic process.
Instead Ms. Niou will run on the ballot in April for the Working Families Party, a liberal organization with sway in Manhattan politics, testing the influence of the veteran Lower East Side power-brokers who support Ms. Cancel. The Working Families Party said in a statement Sunday night that Ms. Niou will be “a voice for reform in Albany.”
As Ms. Niou spoke at the meeting Sunday, a committee administrator tried to cut her off, though she continued her remarks. “I look forward to sharing my vision…with all those who have no voice here,” she said."
"Each candidate had five minutes at the microphone before the vote, though the nomination was seen as a fait accompli. Ms. Niou used her time in front of the room to denounce the process and announce her withdrawal from contention—though not from the race.
“Let’s be honest here, this process is not one anyone would have chosen, and it does not reflect the diversity of our district,” she said. “This process is the problem.”
Ms. Niou secured the endorsement and ballot line of the labor-backed Working Families Party last week, which uses a similar process to select its candidates. She vowed to carry on her candidacy on the WFP line.
Ms. Niou is a three-year resident of the district, having roots in Texas and Washington State. She has secured the endorsements of former Comptroller John Liu and current Comptroller Scott Stringer, and is believed to have institutional backing in the Assembly."
"An Assembly staffer vying for the Democratic nomination to replace disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has won the backing of City Controller Scott Stringer, the Daily News has learned.
Stringer and state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) joined former city Controller John Liu in calling for the New York County Democratic Committee to pick Yuh-Line Niou as its candidate for the April 19 special election called by Gov. Cuomo.
“Yuh-Line Niou’s career has given her the opportunity to work for progressive change, supporting women, seniors, working families and children,” Stringer said."
"Today another candidate, Yuh-Line Niou, secured a significant endorsement, that of former New York City Comptroller John Liu. While Liu’s mayoral bid was derailed by a campaign finance controversy, he remains a popular figure in Chinatown. Niou is currently chief of staff for Assemblyman Ron Kim of Flushing. In a statement, Liu said, “Yuh-Line’s commitment to public service, her passion as a community advocate, her national experience along with her extensive knowledge of the workings of state government make (her) the voice lower Manhattan needs in Albany.”
This afternoon, Niou paid a visit to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, a more than 100-year-old civic organization located within the Confucius Plaza complex on the Bowery. She was accompanied by Virginia Kee, founder of the United Democratic Organization (UDO). The Chinatown-based political club is offering important support to Niou, a fairly new resident of the Financial District. Jenny Low, a district leader, was also at the candidate’s side during today’s meet-and-greet. The Chamber of Commerce does not endorse candidates for public office, but it’s standard practice for office-seekers to appear before the organization as a gesture of respect. Speaking before a small group of local reporters, Niou said she’s running to “utilize the experience gained in 15 years of public service.” No candidate competing for the seat, she argued, can match her Albany know-how."
"... On Wednesday, Niou received the endorsement of former City Comptroller John Liu.
“As a daughter of immigrants, Yuh-Line understands the challenges and issues that both immigrants and working families face,” Liu said. “Her commitment to public service, her passion as a community advocate, her national experience, along with her extensive knowledge of the workings of state government, make Yuh-Line the voice Lower Manhattan needs in Albany.”
In turn, Niou said, “As a solid progressive leader, Comptroller Liu has been a true champion for immigrants and working families, and I want to continue his tradition of empowering those in need throughout our community by championing crucial issues like paid family leave and the Fight for $15.” Niou noted that the 65th Assembly District is a “70 percent minority-majority district” and that she would be the first person of color to represent it, if elected."
"There’s a new candidate in town — well, at least, in Lower Manhattan’s 65th Assembly District, that is, where Sheldon Silver’s ouster from the Legislature has left a huge political void.
Yuh-Line Niou (pronounced “You-Lean Neo”), the chief of staff for Queens Assemblymember Ron Kim, has indicated her interest in succeeding the former longtime speaker in the Assembly."