A knowledgeable Queens source tells us that Assemblyman Rory Lancman has allied himself with an Assembly candidate not backed by the Queens Democratic Party — further exacerbating tensions between Lancman and the Queens Dems.
Lancman, who is not running re-election to the Assembly, but is running for re-election as a party district leader, is circulating petitions in conjunction with Assembly candidate Nily Rozic, the former chief of staff to Assemblyman Brian Kavanaugh, who is running for Lancman’s seat against Jerry Iannece. Iannece, a community board chariman, has the backing of the Queens Democratic Party.
Lancman’s political organization should help Rozic get onto the ballot more cheaply, and one Queens Democrat told us the move is being viewed by the party as a further act of disloyalty by Lancman, who on Tuesday lost a four-way congressional race to Assemblywoman Grace Meng, the Queens Democrats’ candidate.
I asked Lancman by phone if his co-petitioning with Rozic was a precursor to an endorsement for her. Previously, Lancman had said that his endorsement in the race was likely to be “determinative.”
“I haven’t thought that far ahead and we’ll just have to see,” Lancman said, adding that the alliance at this point was simply meant to help both get on the ballot.
I also asked Lancman about the rumor in Queens political circles that he was running for district leader re-election in order to position himself to run for term-limited Councilman Jim Gennaro’s seat. Lancman’s decision not to run for Assembly re-election has left him without a paid political office.
“I haven’t really sorted out my professional or political options. I am fielding a lot of phone calls right now but other than that, I don’t know,” Lancman said.
Lancman’s relationship with the Queens Democrats has taken an interesting turn. Though Lancman was never the party’s favorite candidate, he was set to run with its support against Republican Congressman Bob Turner before Turner’s seat was eliminated in redistricting. He then failed to get the backing of Queens Democratic Leader Joe Crowley in the NY-6 race.
Lancman also confirmed rumors that he is himself facing a challenger for district leader, though the assemblyman was not sure who exactly is running against him.
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