John Liu becomes first Taiwan-born NY State Senator

John Liu has become the first Taiwan-born New York State Senator after winning a seat in New York Senate District 11

  400
(Photo from John C. Liu Facebook page)

(Photo from John C. Liu Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- American politician John Liu (劉醇逸) today became the first Taiwan-born New York State Senator after winning his race for New York State Senate District 11 in the general elections held on Nov. 6.

With 31,858 votes, at 55 percent of those cast, Liu defeated his Republican rival Vickie Paladino, who managed only 10,961 votes, or 24 percent, for the state senate seat, reported Patch.com. Liu declared victory at Bayside's Monahan & Fitzergerald's bar at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, saying, "We took this senate seat back for a true Democrat!" according to the report.

Liu, 51, was born in Taiwan, but at the age of five moved to New York City and grew up in the neighborhood of Flushing in the city's borough of Queens. In 2001, Liu made history for becoming the first Asian-American to be elected to the New York City Council, where he served from 2002 to 2010 while representing the northeast Queens area.

In 2009, Liu won a bid to become the New York City Comptroller, a post which he held from 2010 to 2013. In 2013, he ran in the New York City mayoral election, but was not able to make it past the Democratic Party's primary election, finishing in fourth place.

In 2014, he launched a bid to run for the New York State Senate District 11. However, he lost to incumbent Tony Avella in the Democratic primary race. Undeterred by his defeat, Liu again challenged Avella in the primary in September this year, this time defeating Avella 52.9 percent to 47.1 percent.

In addition to John Liu's victory, two other politicians of Taiwanese descent, U.S. Congresswomen Grace Meng (孟昭文) and New York assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou (牛毓琳), won their bids for reelection.