2012-06-20 / Features

Meng Captures Queens Dem Endorsement, Electeds Anticipate Primary

BY JOHN TOSCANO

A rarity in New York City politics, a give-’em-hell Democratic primary, will play out next Tuesday, when four candidates will push and shove, but mostly pull out hordes of party voters in their efforts to become the candidate for the newly-drawn 6th Congressional District seat along the northern border of the county.

The two main players will be Assemblymembers Grace Meng and Rory Lancman, with Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley in possibly a spoiler role and Dr. Robert Mittman, of Bayside, rounding out the field.

Meng, a 36-year-old lawmaker from Flushing’s heavily Asian American community, has the coveted Queens Democratic Party endorsement. She was heavily backed by party leader Congressmember Joseph Crowley to get the organization’s support, and it appears that the great majority of Democrats followed the congressmember’s lead and later individually endorsed Meng.

Thus Lancman, 43, from Fresh Meadows, and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, 34, from Glendale, can lay claim to many organization types giving them their support. Lancman, with the election only six days away, has only one major endorsement, that from former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

Koch found Meng’s and Crowley’s positions on domestic issues to be similar to Lancman’s. But as for the Israel issue, Koch said, although Meng and Crowley “do support Israel”, he found “Lancman’s knowledge and insights to be superior on what has to be done on the part of the United States to provide our ally Israel security against its many enemies in the Mideast region…”

Koch’s backing of Lancman mainly on the Israel issue could swing some Jewish votes to Lancman next Tuesday, but we don’t think that will happen enough to make Lancman a winner.

Lancman could get a larger share of the Jewish vote than Meng, but there will be many Jewish voters who will follow the party line and go for Meng, we believe.

Meanwhile, Latino leaders and public officials endorsed Meng as a group, and women Democratic leaders staged an impressive campaign showing for Meng, and surely the reported 38 percent of the new district’s residents that are of Asian descent will go heavily for Meng to put the first from their group in Congress.

Another point in Meng’s favor is that the Democratic Party’s field operations on important election days such as next Tuesday, when getting voters to the polls is of utmost importance and there will be an outpouring of voters for Meng. This will be in the hands of party Executive Secretary Mike Reich and it can be depended on.

The district runs along the borough’s northern border from Ridgewood to Little Neck, including large segments of Rego Park and Forest Hills, Flushing and Bayside.

The message that will go out to the Democratic troops on Tuesday is to beat Lancman and beat him bad, because he tried to get the support of Congressmember Gary Ackerman, for whom the new district was drawn.

But Ackerman wouldn’t buy it and instead stayed loyal to Crowley, alongside whom he has served for the past eight years.

Meanwhile, Republican Dan Halloran, of Whitestone, who has been endorsed for the 6th CD seat by the GOP, will meet the Democratic winner of next Tuesday’s primary.

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