News 12 Exclusive: Former Gillibrand staffer Lisa Hofflich gives 1st interview in race to replace Biaggi
A Vietnamese immigrant and former staffer of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has decided to join the race to replace state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi - and she gave her first interview to News 12's Tara Rosenblum Thursday.
Lisa Hofflich is a community organizer, actress and mother of five who has worked behind the scenes in Democratic circles for decades.
She's now adding her name to the ballot and taking on the role of "candidate" for the first time.
In her first interview as a state Senate candidate, the Mount Vernon Democrat said her life experiences make her uniquely qualified to lead.
"I understand what it likes to be a child and worried about heat and food as an immigrant, a refugee," says Hofflich.
Hofflich wants to replace Biaggi, who is giving up her seat to run for Congress.
The 34th Senate District, soon to become the revamped District 36, includes large sections of the Bronx and Westchester County, where a growing field of Democrats are already fighting for the seat.
Biaggi's former Deputy Chief of Staff Christian Amato, now a Bronx community board member, announced his candidacy on Monday. Bronx attorney James Gisondi is also in the running, along with Miguelina Camilo. Born in the Dominican Republic, Camilo now lives in Riverdale and serves as president of the Bronx Women's Bar Association.
Despite the crowded field, Hofflich told News 12 she likes her chances.
There is no word yet on whether any Republicans are vying for the seat, but a GOP candidate will likely face an uphill climb, considering Sen. Biaggi won the general election with 74% of the vote.