Waiting until the final day to file, “Ada” Juan Sheng, a virtual unknown in political circles, entered the Democratic primary race for the newly created 6th Congressional District seat.
The Board of Elections also confirmed on Tuesday that Bayside allergy doctor Robert Mittman has filed petitions to get on the Democratic ballot.
Mittman, 53, emailed a short statement on Wednesday saying he looked forward to discussing the healthcare crisis during the campaign, “which desperately needs reform.”
He and Sheng, 53, of Briarwood, a public access television and video producer, are hoping to have enough valid signatures to be placed on the June 26 ballot. Others in contention are Assemblywoman Grace Meng of Flushing, Assemblyman Rory Lancman of Fresh Meadows, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley of Middle Village and Jeff Gottlieb, a retired teacher and Board of Elections employee. The winner will face Republican Councilman Dan Halloran of Whitestone in the November election.
The new district runs from Flushing, Fresh Meadows and Bayside to Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale.
The district is 37 percent Asian, and there is a large Jewish population as well.
Last week, Gottlieb entered the race, drawing the ire of Lancman, who blamed the Democratic leaders in Queens for trying to split the Jewish vote between him and Gottlieb to aid in the victory of their candidate, Meng.
Now, another Asian candidate has also entered the race. Sheng said she is running because “Congress is broken and none of the other candidates are addressing the problem with the influence of money in Congress.”
She said she wants to work for “the weak and the meek, especially persons with disabilities,” adding that there are not enough job opportunities for them and that the disabled can be productive members of society.
Her press release indicated she is a person with a disability, but did not elaborate.
A graduate of the University of Sichuan in China, she received her master’s degree from Brooklyn College. For the last 10 years Sheng has served as reporter and producer of “The Chinese New Yorker” on public access television in Queens and Manhattan.
Many Queens Democrats are scratching their heads at the large number of entries, three of whom have never held elected office. If Gottlieb entered to take votes away from Lancman, what about Sheng siphoning votes from Meng?
Now it will be up to the parties and candidates to challenge petitions. It’s likely the county party will take a close look at Sheng’s signatures to disqualify as many as possible. Candidates must have 900 valid signatures to appear on the ballot.