NEW YORK - New York City elected its first Asian-American to citywide office Tuesday.

Democrat John Liu defeated Republican challenger Joe Mendola for comptroller with 24 percent of precincts reporting.

Liu's family emigrated from Taiwan when he was a child. He has served on the City Council since 2002, representing parts of Queens. He also was the first Asian-American on the council.

The comptroller audits city agencies and oversees the municipal pension system.

AP reports contributed to this story