Former Councilwoman Melinda Katz is kicking off her campaign to replace term-limited Borough President Helen Marshall at Portofino Ristorante in Forest Hills tonight. Joining her will be none other than the man who leads the Queens Democratic Party, Congressman Joe Crowley. However, his presence at her party doesn’t necessarily imply Mr. Crowley is backing Ms. Katz in the crowded field.
Indeed, a reader passes along a kickoff event invitation for State Senator José Peralta’s campaign for Ms. Marshall’s job as well, which Mr. Crowley is also attending.
The duel appearances are interesting, as Mr. Crowley is often the type to endorse a candidate in contested Democratic primaries and work his hardest to get him or her elected. However, with a diverse slate of contenders that also includes Councilmen Leroy Comrie and Peter Vallone, as well as Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchick, perhaps Mr. Crowley simply has too many friends in the race to pick and choose just yet.
Many political insiders have long considered Mr. Comrie the borough president candidate Mr. Crowley favored, but some are now speculating Mr. Comrie’s sluggish fundraising could hinder his chances to earn the official nod. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Crowley will attend Mr. Comrie’s kickoff event–or anyone else’s, for that matter.
We’ve reached out to the Queens County Democratic Party and will update if they have any further comment.