Earlier today, Democratic Assemblywoman Grace Meng continued adding endorsements of elected officials to her already sizable stack of supporters as she campaigns for Congress in northeastern Queens. Standing on the sunny steps of City Hall, four candidates for mayor next year enthusiastically declared their support: Comptroller John Liu, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, Speaker Christine Quinn, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
“As a relatively new member of the Assembly she has gotten things done by working with her colleagues, by bringing people together,” Ms. Quinn said at the event. “If there’s one legislative body in the country — probably more than any other — that needs that skill, needs that Grace (pun intended), that needs that likability, it’s Congress.”
“If anything Speaker Quinn was charitable about that group,” Mr. de Blasio said about Congress. “The status quo in Washington is fundamentally unacceptable. … Grace is someone who will rock that status quo, because she understands what real people need and are going through.”
Today’s event further highlighted the increasing divide in the race where Ms. Meng is wrapping up one elected official after another while one of her opponents, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, has a near-lock on labor support, with some exceptions. Indeed, Mr. Lancman added to his own pile of union support today with the Communication Workers of America.
Mr. de Blasio, who is hoping to campaign for mayor with significant labor support and is close to the Lancman-supporting Working Families Party, told reporters after the event that he simply disagrees with the group in this particular race.
“I just think she’s the best candidate. This is a good field of candidates, I like them all,” Mr. de Blasio said. “The WFP and I often agree, but not always. We certainly have differences on some substantive issues from time to time, and some candidacies as well.”
“It speaks more to the candidate that Grace is that I’m out here today. I think she’s smart, talented, and is a person who can bring people together,” Mr. Thompson told The Politicker when asked about labor’s support for Mr. Lancman. ”It isn’t pushing a candidate away. I respect all of the candidates in the race.”
Not every 2013 contender was at today’s event, however. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was invited, but according to Ms. Meng’s campaign spokesman, faced a scheduling conflict. He also said newspaper publisher Tom Allon was not invited because he is currently flirting with the Republican Party.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley is also competing for the June 26th Democratic nomination, the winner of which will likely face GOP Councilman Dan Halloran in the general election.
Watch today’s press conference below: