The Queens Democratic Party has picked state Assemblywoman Grace Meng to run for U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman’s seat, but Assemblyman Rory Lancman also plans to throw his hat into the ring Monday.
Ackerman, who has served as northeast Queens’s congressman for nearly 30 years, .
On Monday morning, the Queens Democratic Party officially chose Meng, D-Flushing, to run for the seat.
“For 30 years, Congressman Gary Ackerman has been a leader of unparalleled decency, a model of intellectual bravery and, let’s be honest, incredible style,” Meng told Queens Democratic leaders after being picked this morning. “I am honored beyond words can adequately express by this nomination to continue Gary’s legacy.”
A federal judge recently redrew the lines for Ackerman’s district, which previously included portions of Queens and Long Island.
The Sixth Congressional District is now entirely situated in Queens and is nearly 40 percent Asian, according to NY 1.
Meng told county leaders today that her campaign would attempt to unify the communities represented by the district.
“Our campaign for Congress will resist any efforts to divide our communities,” she said. “We will not tolerate any attempt — overt or coded — to play one community off another. Our greatest strength has always been our diversity. It’s what we have in common that makes our neighborhoods work, our students succeed and our families able to care for children and grandparents as they can.”
Lancman, D-Fresh Meadows, had originally , R-Forest Hills, for the seat, but Turner now plans to , D-N.Y.
The assemblyman then on the grounds that he did not want to run against Ackerman.
But this afternoon, Lancman will hold a press conference at the corner of Northern Boulevard and 170th Street to officially announce his candidacy for the seat.
On his Facebook page, Lancman wrote “congrats to my friend Grace, looking forward to a spirited campaign on the issues.”
City Councilman Mark Weprin, D-Oakland Gardens, had originally been mentioned as a potential contender for the seat.
But he told Patch this morning that he had thrown his support behind Meng.
“I nominated her at the meeting,” he said. “I think she’s a terrific human being and would be a great representative for Congress. She will be a great advocate for the business community in Queens and a fierce defender for the state of Israel. I think she’ll be a great congresswoman.”
State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, had also shown interest in the seat, but a spokesman for the senator said he also planned to support Meng.
City Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, could not immediately be reached for comment on whether he intended to jump into the race.
The primary for the seat is scheduled for June. Candidates can begin to gather signatures Tuesday to get on the ballot.