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Queens Chronicle

Lancman smashes GOP’s Blishteyn

Open District 24 City Council race proves a slam-dunk for Democrats

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Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:33 am, Thu Nov 14, 2013.

A year ago, in the same North Room of the IBEW Local 3 Joint Industry Building on Jewel Avenue, then-Assemblyman Rory Lancman kicked off his campaign for a seat in City Council. On Tuesday, he celebrated there as a newly elected councilman.

Lancman received more than 73 percent of the votes, beating Republican Alex Blishteyn, who took nearly 20 percent for the 24th District. His new domain includes Briarwood, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens Hills and parts of Flushing and Jamaica.

He already has plans for the district —including reducing house costs, making education more accessible and keeping transit fares and tolls from rising.

“People in this part of Queens feel like they’re being priced out of their neighborhood,” Lancman said. “I’m going to be a fierce advocate for making life more affordable for people in New York City.”

He was born and raised in Queens, and has been a resident of the district for 39 years, moving into it when he was 5 years old and now living there with his wife and three children. He attended elementary school through college in the district.

“His heart and soul is in the district,” his wife, Morgan Lancman, said. “He’s really happy to be representing his home.”

Area politicians were also happy to celebrate Lancman’s victory, including outgoing Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), who was term-limited out of office.

“I think the people of this district should really not only be happy but grateful,” Gennaro said. “Other than his prodigious talents, Rory also possesses a moral compass that will always lead him along the lines of excellence.”

The councilman added that Lancman has an exemplary background that will help him in his new office, an assertion which was echoed by other politicians.

“He’s going to hit the ground running,” said Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows).

Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Flushing) said, “He really understands the needs of the community.”

Area residents also came out Tuesday night to show their support for Lancman’s win.

“I’ve supported Rory all along,” said Karen Cohn from Kew Garden Hills. “He’s just a really great guy and he really cares for people and he works really hard to change things so people will be better off.”

Former PS 117 PTA President Howard Slewett from Briarwood has worked with Lancman in the past, and said he has always been helpful.

When 144th Street between that school and MS 217 was having traffic issues and people were parking on the sidewalks, Lancman joined with Slewett and others to come up with a solution, which eventually became turning the street into a one-way and adding trees to the sidewalks.

“Without Rory, this never would have happened,” Slewett said. “When he came and brought everybody together, he pushed everything along.”

Another time, when Briarwood didn’t have a Little League, Lancman helped get youngsters there into the Jamaica Estates and Holliswood Little League. A year later, the league was renamed to include Briarwood, Slewett said.

Prior to being an assemblyman for six years until 2012, Lancman, an attorney, served on Community Board 8 for 16 years and chaired the Queens Hospital Center Community Advisory Board.

Also running in the 24th District was Mujib Rahman, on the Faith and Values ticket, who took 6.3 percent of the vote.

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