In a move meant to shore up strained relations with the Queens Democratic Party, Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman withdrew his candidacy to run for re-election as a party district leader last night along with two allies.
The entire insurgent slate of Lancman, Dilip Nath (who had been running for state committee) and Stephanie Goldstone (who had been running for district leader) filed declinations voiding their petition signatures with the Board of Elections. (Lancman’s declination is posted here.) Instead, the Queens Democratic Party leadership slots will be filled by three candidates who had the backing of the Queens Democratic Party, allowing them to avoid September primaries with Lancman, Nath and Goldstone.
In a phone interview, Lancman confirmed that he was giving up his spot as district leader, which he’s held since 2002.
“Politically and professionally I have other priorities than running for re-election as Democratic district leader,” Lancman said.
One of those political opportunities could be running for term-limited Councilman Jim Gennaro’s seat in 2013 – and Lancman would surely like to do so with the backing of the Queens Democratic Party.
Lancman’s decision to co-petition onto the ballot with Assembly candidate Nily Rozic – who is running against the Queens Democratic Party-backed Jerry Iannece – had further exacerbated tensions between Lancman and the Queens Democrats. Already, some friction existed due to Lancman’s decision to run in the NY-6 congressional primary, which he lost to the Queens Democratic Party-backed Grace Meng.
Lancman’s decision not to run could well negatively impact the campaign of Rozic, whom some political observers expected Lancman to endorse. Lancman had previously said his endorsement in the race could be “determinative.”
But now, Lancman says that he’s not planning on backing anyone for his Assembly seat.
“I’m going to stay out of the race to succeed me – at least for now – and let the voters sort it out,” Lancman said.
Lancman’s support would have been a major coup for Rozic, since nearly all the institutional support in the race is going towards Iannece – including the endorsements of Meng, Councilman Peter Koo and Comptroller John Liu in what’s now a heavily Asian-American district.
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