Assemblyman Rory Lancman began the process Tuesday to run for Congress against Republican incumbent Bob Turner by filing papers with the Federal Election Commission to form an exploratory committee.
In a telephone interview, Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), said the timeframe is very short and he wants to be ready to officially file when the redistricting boundaries are announced. Should Turner’s district be retained, the Democrat will run.
“The boundaries should be sorted out quickly,” Lancman said. “We are running out of time on redistricting.”
Turner beat Assemblyman David Weprin in a special election last summer to replace Anthony Weiner. Lancman had wanted to run, but the Democratic Party went with Weprin.
Should the district stay the same, a primary is scheduled for June 26. Lancman has already raised $130,000 for the possible run.
“It’s a compressed election cycle,” he said, “and you need the groundwork that we have done.”
Lancman acknowledged that it’s never easy reclaiming a lost seat. The 9th Congressional District had been held by Weiner, a Democrat, for more than six terms.
“During the last election, voters were sending a message [about Obama’s stand on Israel], but now they seek experience and drive,” he said.
Lancman, 42, has served in the Assembly since 2006 and points to his achievements. “In the first six months I was there, five of my bills got passed,” he said. “Turner has done nothing in six months except to lend his name for one recent bill to block raising the federal debt ceiling.”
He points to his record in Albany on issues he says are important to people such as the economy, terrorism and security. “Voters want people who can deliver,” Lancman said. “My record on Israel can’t be matched and I want to focus on the economy, get people back to work and level the playing field.”
He added that he’s appalled that someone rich like Mitt Romney pays lower taxes as a percentage of his income than his secretary. The assemblyman also complained about the high cost of a college education.
“College tuition can be over $100,000,” Lancman said. “It’s like having a mortgage without a house.”
Turner’s camp has described Lancman as “another clubhouse politician,” to which the assemblyman responded: “I take my job seriously. No one else can claim that. I’ve had an impact on the legislative process since day one and I look forward to discussing the issues.”
Lancman, an attorney, represents the 25th District, which runs from Flushing through part of Briarwood to Richmond Hill. The congressional district now encompasses part of Brooklyn, the Rockaways, South Queens north to Maspeth and east to Fresh Meadows.