Lone Poll Surprise Shows Melinda Katz Neck-in-Neck with Liu for Comptroller

WABC commissioned a poll on some local races, and found things as expected, with a few surprises. Bill Thompson mops the floor with Tony Avella for the Democratic Mayoral nomination, 52-11 percent, and Mark Green, the only public advocate candidate most people have heard of, takes 47 percent in a four-person field. But in the comptroller's race, councilmember John Liu has just a one-point lead over... councilmember Melinda Katz? We have to start paying closer attention...

Katz has some big endorsements, including those of former mayor Ed Koch and Geraldine Ferraro, and as the female in the race (a credential she has strongly pushed) she's backed by EMILY's List.

We heard Katz present her case back in May to the Village Independent Democrats, whom she told that as comptroller she would use "the power of the pensions"to go after employers who are "abusing their employees," and that she was leery of the extremely low-ball contracts the city often accepts, which she compared to estimates from a shady mechanic who promises a low bill but "all of a sudden there's a lot of changes that 'really need to be done,' and all of a sudden it's 800 bucks."

She seems up for the job (though Queens Crap despises her), and clearly she's running a good campaign. Still, it's August, and the real front-runner in the comptroller poll is undecided with 28 percent. But we certainly won't underestimate her again.


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