While there has been plenty of drama in the race for the 6th Congressional District (say, a candidate dropping out because he was outed as having set fire to his own apartment), those running for the seat are still aiming for the political tried and true.
Some of the Democratic candidates vying to represent the district, which runs from Ridgewood in the southwest through communities like Kew Gardens and Fresh Meadows to Oakland Gardens in the northeast, ushered in a new week with a series of endorsements.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) landed the support of the Transport Workers Union Local 100, the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East announced they are backing Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows); and the Alliance of South Asian American Labor, South Asian Youth Action, SEVA and others from Queens’ South Asian community, threw their weight behind Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing).
Crowley, Lancman and Meng are three of six running in the June 26 Democratic primary for a district where there is no incumbent because U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) decided not to run again. The winner will face off against Republican Dan Halloran (R-Bayside).
Jeff Gottlieb, a Democrat, recently dropped out of the race after The New York Post ran a piece about him setting fire to his Flushing apartment in 1971. Stephen Greene, an attorney from Rosedale, replaced Gottlieb. Robert Mittman, a Bayside allergist, and “Ada” Juan Sheng, a public access director and producer from Flushing, are also running.
“We think Elizabeth is going to be a dynamic new voice in Congress for New York’s working families,” TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said of Crowley in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled to be endorsing a person with such a strong union background, and a person who we believe will advocate aggressively for a strong national policy for public transportation.”
TWU Local 100 represents 38,000 workers and 26,000 retirees in the city’s public transit system.
“Local 100 is currently fighting for a fair contract from the MTA, and Crowley fully supports Local 100’s decision to fight back against multi-year pay freezes and cuts to member benefits,” the prepared statement said.
Lancman, meanwhile, received the green-light from 1199 SEIU, which represents 275,000 healthcare workers in the state.
“Right now, working New Yorkers who have borne the brunt of this economic crisis need a champion in Washington to fight for them, and that champion is Rory Lancman,” 1199 SEIU President George Gresham said in a prepared statement. “Rory is someone who understands the challenges that working families face, and time and time again has gone above and beyond to deliver for New Yorkers who work for a living.”
And for Meng came the backing of South Asian leaders.
“Grace Meng is by far the best qualified candidate to stand up for middle-class workers and families in Queens,” said Maf Uddin, founder and president of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor. “Whether it’s supporting small businesses or making sure millionaires pay their fair share, we can count on Grace to be our voice in Washington.”
Meng’s press release also included praise from Annette Seecharran, former director of SAYA, and Gurpal Singh, the co-founder of SEVA, a Richmond Hill-based nonprofit that works with immigrants and community advocacy. She also got shout-outs from Sayu Bhojwani, the former city Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs; Reshma Saujani, a former deputy public advocate; and Morshed Alam, president and founder of the New American Democratic Club in Queens.