In a move seen as retribution for Queens Councilwoman Liz Crowley’s unexpected decision to run for Congress, the Queens Democratic Party is very likely to leave Crowley off of its petitions as she runs for re-election this fall as a party district leader, according Crowley’s congressional campaign and two other elected officials in her area.
Crowley, who is running in a four-way congressional primary in northeast Queens, went against the Queens Democratic Party – and her cousin, Queens Democratic Leader/Congressman Joe Crowley – by running for Congress against the party’s preferred candidate candidate, Assemblywoman Grace Meng.
In any other year, as a party-backed incumbent, Crowley would be included on the same petitions as all party-backed candidates in her area of the borough, saving her time and money.
Reached for comment, a Crowley congressional campaign spokesman said the campaign’s understanding is the Crowley will be dropped from Queens Democratic Party petitions. And that was echoed by Queens Democratic Assemblyman Michael Miller, whose petitions Crowley would normally appear upon.
“I’ve heard the same thing,” Miller said. “I do not believe she’s going to be on there, but we’ll have to wait until the petitions are printed.”
Miller said he believes the final decision will be made at a Queens Democratic Party meeting set to be held Monday. At that meeting, Queens Democrats are also set to pick their candidate to replace Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who is running for the same congressional seat as Crowley.
Absent the Queens Democratic Party’s backing, Crowley would have to go through the time and expense of printing and gathering signatures for a district leader campaign herself.
Crowley is not the only one facing the Queens Democratic Party’s wrath. Crowley’s district co-leader, Frank Kotnik, said he heard he was likely to be dropped from Queens Democratic Party petitions. Still, Kotnick said he hoped the situation could be worked out and reversed before the meeting on Monday.
“This might be a misunderstanding, and I’ll be making calls today to try and work it out,” Kotnick said.
The executive director of the Queens Democratic Party, Michael Reich, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Crowley’s campaign, while often overshadowed by those of Meng and Lancman, has been gaining steam recently. Even without her powerful cousin’s backing, she has landed the endorsement of a number of unions, including the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association yesterday.
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