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Lancman begins campaign for City Council

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (c.) is joined by state Democratic Committeeman Ted Teng (r.) and local Young Democrats for his official City Council campaign kickoff. Photo courtesy Rory Lancman
TimesLedger Newspapers

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) officially kicked off his campaign for City Council last week at the Local 3 Headquarters in Flushing.

More than 100 people attended the event, at 67-35 Parsons Blvd., including U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, and a number of other Queens politicians.

In his remarks to the crowd, Lancman said that with so much turnover expected in city government in 2013 due to term limits, it will be important to elect leaders who have experience. The mayor, city comptroller, borough presidents and about half the members of the Council must step down in 2013.

“I’m ready to go to City Hall and pass laws that are important for New Yorkers because I’ve done that in the New York state Legislature,” he said at the union headquarters.

Lancman has served on the Assembly Subcommittee on Workplace Safety.

He added that with the city facing major hurdles, such as repairing infrastructure after Hurricane Sandy, preparing for future natural disasters and the coping with higher costs of living while wages stagnate, the government needs leaders who are substantive.

Lancman has served in the Assembly for the last six years, representing a district that includes Flushing, Fresh Meadows and Hillcrest. Those neighborhoods overlap with the 24th Council District, which Lancman hopes to represent. Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) currently holds the seat, but he will be term-limited out of it in 2013.

In a telephone interview with Times Ledger Newspapers, Lancman said he has received the support of many of his fellow Democrats in his Council bid, a shift from the fall when he was defeated in a hotly contested primary for Rep. Gary Ackerman’s (D-Bayside) seat.

“Their support and encouragement has been very heartening,” he said.

He said he has been part of the Queens Democratic Party for the last 25 years and has worked closely with other party leaders and elected officials to help Queens. He said he maintains relationships with his colleagues that go beyond political campaigns.

“Sometimes we’ll be on the same side in a political campaign and sometimes we’ll be on different sides,” he said.

Lancman was bested in the congressional primary by Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who went on to win the seat in the general election.

But now Lancman is looking to 2013. He said in the coming months he will be focusing on building grassroots support, knocking on doors to make sure people know he is running and explaining his positions on the issues.

“People know me very well throughout the district,” he said. “People know me as an energetic, driven legislator and that’s what I’m going to be in the City Council.”

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at kfrantz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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