In a statement sent out tonight, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, who is the only Asian-American elected official in Albany, made sure to note the new district where Mr. Ackerman was campaigning is plurality Asian and indirectly suggested she would be inclined to run if she received the Democratic establishment’s backing.
“This new congressional district is heavily Asian, and I will be sitting down with our Queens Democratic Organization Chairman, Congressman Joseph Crowley, our community leaders and activists to discuss how the coming months may shape out,” she said, while praising Mr. Ackerman.
U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens/L.I.) today announced that he will not seek re-election to the United States Congress.
On the eve of the Federal Circuit Court’s approval of Congressional district lines that were seen to be extraordinarily favorable to Ackerman, and with the primary-free backing of the Democratic Party virtually assured, Ackerman has informed his family, staff, friends and party leaders that he will not seek a 16th term of office.
However, this evening his campaign announced he would forgo a Congressional run this cycle and would be seeking reelection in the State Assembly instead.
“My enthusiasm for running against Republican Bob Turner on a platform of leveling the economic playing field for working people doesn’t extend to running against fellow Democrat Gary Ackerman,” he said in a statement. “Gary Ackerman is a solid progressive … I have enjoyed a great relationship with Gary over the years, from interning in his office when I was a high school student to having his support in all of my campaigns for public office, and I’ll be supporting Gary this year in the new Sixth congressional district.”
As the Legislature and the courts compete to finish the final touches on their separate congressional redistricting plans, Democratic Assemblyman Rory Lancman is hustling to keep all of his bases open as he campaigns for Congress himself in what is very much an uncertain district.
Now, with the courts and Albany both appearing likely to divide Mr. Turner’s seat up between its neighbors, creating a new Asian or Latino-plurality Queens district — with a strong ethnic white and Jewish presence still — Mr. Lancman is doing event after event to lock down these diverse constituencies instead, possibly preparing for a competitive Democratic primary against sitting Congressman Gary Ackerman.
“The new Sixth CD is a fantastic district in Queens where I grew up, went to public school and college, and started my family and my business,” Mr. Ackerman said. “It contains my political base and longtime roots, and I have had the privilege of representing approximately 90% of it during my 34 years in the State Senate and U.S. Congress. Throughout this time, I have been honored to win the overwhelming support of the people Rita and I grew up with, and the people our children grew up with, and the wonderful people who reside in these great and diverse communities. I look forward to continuing to fight for them in Congress for many more years to come.” Continue reading “Despite A Disappearing District, Ackerman Says Reapportionment Results Are ‘Fantastic’”→
One of the interesting twists of the court’s draft proposal for New York’s Congressional lines is the new Asian-plurality district created in Queens, and Democratic Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who had been campaigning against GOP Congressman Bob Turner, just announced he would be likely to shift his focus there should the final boundaries look like the draft map.
“The Special Master’s lines came out today, and while I can’t predict what the final lines will ultimately look like, the Special Master’s district six is centered around my home and communities that I have represented in the Assembly, on the community board and as a civic leader for over twenty years,” he said in a statement this morning.
“I look forward to the opportunity to run for Congress when the lines are finalized,” he added.
Now that both the Assembly and the Senate district maps have come out (not that these maps mean very much of course) we can see that, in fact, the reverse was true: The Senate’s version sends Mr. Ackerman mostly into Ms. McCarthy’s district, while the Assembly map divides his district four ways and effectively puts Mr. Ackerman in a majority-minority district.