Rep. Grace Meng is endorsing Robert Zimmerman for the open 3rd Congressional District seat, the former public relations maven’s campaign exclusively told City & State. That means the state’s congressional delegation is split on who should represent the district from eastern Queens across Nassau County’s North Shore.
Rep. Tom Suozzi has endorsed Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan to succeed him. Suozzi represents most of the district now, but isn’t seeking reelection, after falling short in the June Democratic primary for governor.
Zimmerman meanwhile has the lion’s share of endorsements in the race, including Reps. Gregory Meeks and Ritchie Torres, and former Reps. Gary Ackerman, Steve Israel and Carolyn McCarthy.
Another candidate, Melanie D’Arrigo, has won endorsements from the progressive movement, including the Working Families Party and former gubernatorial candidates Cynthia Nixon and Zephyr Teachout, but no members of Congress. The other candidates in the race are Deputy Suffolk County Executive Jon Kaiman and Reema Rasool, an entrepreneur.
Meng could be a helpful endorsement for Zimmerman. Her home in the redrawn 6th Congressional District is literally across the street from the 3rd District, and a portion of her current constituents have been redistricted into the open seat. Meng is the only Asian American member of Congress in the state, and the 3rd District has a significant 23% Asian American minority, according to the CUNY Graduate Center’s Redistricting & You website.
Zimmerman may need the help. An internal poll from Lafazan’s campaign – to be taken with a grain of salt, as all internal polls should be – showed Lafazan and Kaiman leading among likely voters, with 20% each. Zimmerman trailed with 10%, then D’Arrigo and Rasool at 4% each. The largest portion of voters, 43%, were undecided, as of mid-June.
The winner of the Aug. 23 primary will face Republican George Santos, a Wall Street trader, in the general election. Political predictors like the Cook Political Report rate the seat as a toss-up, where either party could win.