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Astoria’s TurboVax Founder Drops Out of Assembly Race, Cites Redistricting as The Reason

Huge Ma (Photo: Huge for Assembly)

Feb. 5, 2022 By Christian Murray

A high-profile Astoria resident who announced in December that he was running to represent the 37th Assembly District in Albany is no longer running for office.

Huge Ma, who founded the TurboVax website last year that helped connect New Yorkers to COVID-19 vaccine sites, announced Friday that he is withdrawing from the race citing the change to the electoral district maps.

“Campaign Update: this week, the New York State Legislature approved new district lines for the State Assembly and Senate. After deliberating with my team, I’ve decided that the best course of action at this moment is to suspend my State Assembly campaign,” Ma said in a statement posted to twitter.

Ma, 32, a Democrat who lives on the border of Dutch Kills and Astoria, currently resides in the 37th Assembly District, which presently goes all the way from Ridgewood up to Astoria Houses and is represented by Catherine Nolan.

The current Assembly District 37 map (left) vs. the revised map. Significant portions of Astoria and Long Island City have been cut out of the new map. (Source: RedistrictingandYou.org)

However, the 37th Assembly District has just been reconfigured with redistricting—and it will no longer include the Dutch Kills/Astoria component where he lives come Jan. 1. The election this year is for the revised district.

“When I started this campaign, I dreamed of representing my childhood home. This week, my home was redrawn well outside of the new District 37,” he said.

Ma lives in what will be District 36, currently represented by Zohran Mamdani. District 36 has also undergone significant change—and will cover several areas that are presently part of District 37, such as Queensbridge, Ravenswood and Astoria Houses, as well as the Court Square and Queens Plaza sections of Long Island City.

The current Assembly District 36 map (left) vs. the revised map (Source: RedistrictingandYou.org)

Ma is legally permitted to run for the District 37 seat even though he wouldn’t be living in the revised district. Candidates are not required to live in the district immediately following a redistricting—as long as they have lived in the county where the seat is located for the past 12 months, or Queens in this case.

However, in a normal year, a candidate is required to have been a resident of the district for at least 12 months prior. Therefore, if Ma did run this year and won—he would be required to move in order to run in the following election.

“While I currently feel a great sense of disappointment, I remain open to representing my community in the future. I am best positioned at this moment to help New York continue its road to recovery as a private citizen.”

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