On Monday morning, the Queens County Democratic Committee announced that it would be supporting Assemblywoman Grace Meng as its candidate for the new 6th Congressional District, which was created as part of newly redrawn congressional lines based on the 2010 Census.
The new lines essentially left longtime Congressman Gary Ackerman without a district, leading him to announce his retirement as opposed to run in the new district.
Figuring we should catch up on where Meng stood on the important issues, we thought we would head over to gracemeng.com to familiarize ourselves. To avoid helping you make the same mistake we did, don't bother heading over to gracemeng.com because you won't gain any knowledge on where Meng stands on immigration, foreign policy, health care, or any other big issue out there.
Instead, what you will find is some random information on securing the cheapest car insurance or a good business loan. In fact, we're not really sure what gracemeng.com is all about, but it appears to be a potpourri of spam blog posts, not one of which has any information on Assemblywoman Grace Meng.
Guess we'll just have to do some old-fashioned reporting on this one and pick up a phone and (ugh) call someone.
But in all seriousness (no really, we mean it!), the nomination of Meng is big news for several reasons. First, if elected, she would be the first Asian-American elected to Congress from New York State. Second, Meng was considered to be a strong candidate for borough president, which is good news for those interested in the post, which includes Assemblyman Jose Peralta and councilmen Peter Vallone, Jr. and Leroy Comrie, as there could potentially be one less candidate in the mix.
But it's also big news because Meng isn't the only Democrat interested in the replacing Ackerman, which means we're going to have a Democratic Primary!
And this primary won't involve one strong Democratic candidate picked by the county party and a bunch of no-name outliers with no real chance. No, this primary will involve the county choice (Meng) and two well-established, office-holding, and card-carrying members of the Queens County Democratic Party.
First there is Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who made it known about a month ago that he was interested in running for Congress, but back then he was considering challenging Republican Congressman Bob Turner, who last year won the seat vacated by Anthony Weiner, who resigned in the wake of his Twitter indiscretions.
When New York City lost a congressional district, Lancman considered running against Ackerman, who at the time was still deciding his future, but decided against it, issuing this statement:
"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."
A few hours after Lancman sent that out, Ackerman announced his retirement. We guess the relationship wasn't so great that Ackerman could have given Lancman a head's up he was about to announce he was stepping down!
And then there is Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who also announced that she would seek the post despite the Queens Democratic Party throwing its support behind Meng.
Oh yes, did we fail to mention that the head of the Queens County Democratic Party, Congressman Jospeh Crowley, is the cousin of Liz Crowley? That's going to make for an awkward Easter dinner this year!
The primary is scheduled for late June, which means you can expect some furious campaigning over the next few months. The interesting part is that all three of these candidates are considered "nice" guys in the cutthroat world of politics, known for working well with their colleagues.
Unfortunately, campaigns aren't known for being nice, so we'll be waiting to see if this race turns negative. We can't wait.
In the words of the great political strategist Terrell Owens, "get your popcorn ready!"