In a four-person Democratic race, Assemblywoman Grace Meng had no trouble winning her party’s nomination Tuesday for the newly created 6th Congressional District seat.
The unofficial count was 51 percent for Meng, 28 percent for Assemblyman Rory Lancman of Fresh Meadows, 16 percent for City Councilwoman Liz Crowley of Middle Village and 5 percent for Dr. Robert Mittman of Bayside.
The surprise announcement in March that veteran Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-Queens, Nassau) would not seek reelection caused a scramble in the Queens Democratic Party to support a replacement in the newly created 6th District. Meng was the choice.
The new district extends from Flushing, Fresh Meadows and Bayside to Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale. Ending a spirited campaign to win the Democratic nomination, Meng, 36, said at her victory party Tuesday night at the Plum restaurant in Bayside that she will continue to fight hard to win the election in November. She will face Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran of Whitestone.
Contacted Wednesday, Halloran offered the following statement: “Congratulations to Assemblywoman Meng for her hard-fought victory last night. Assemblywoman Meng will be a worthy opponent and I look forward to a spirited campaign in the fall. I look forward to discussing our different visions for Queens.”
Speaking to Democratic elected officials, campaign volunteers and other supporters, Meng challenged Halloran to join her in running a campaign based on issues. “There will be no race or religion or scare tactics,” she said. The candidate told fellow Democrats that what they had in common is “hard work, family, faith and the belief that government is for the good” and went on to say: “We must do more to protect these values.”
The new 6th District is 37 percent Asian, which was a boost to Meng’s win. Lancman was expected to score heavily with the Jewish community, but that did not appear to happen.
Lancman’s long road to Congress ended Tuesday night in defeat, but the three-term state legislator, who has eyed a run for Congress for nearly two years, took his loss gracefully. Appearing at his victory party at the Queens Jewish Center in Forest Hills with his wife and three children, Lancman praised both the victor, Meng, and his other main opponent, Crowley.
All Queens: Meng wins big to take 6th Congressional nomination Crowley greeted supporters at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union hall in Flushing. “It may not have come out the way I would have liked, but this is a great day,” Crowley said. “It’s been a roller coaster. And we proved one thing — that parties and leaders do not pick candidates. The people do, and the people have chosen Grace Meng.”
Dominick Rafter and Michael Gannon contributed to this story.