Jeffrey Gottlieb suddenly leaping into the Democratic primary for New York’s 6th Congressional District has politicos abuzz about whether his campaign is designed to take Jewish votes away from one of the candidates, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, in order to benefit the candidate endorsed by the Queens Democratic establishment, Assemblywoman Grace Meng.
Mr. Gottlieb’s candidacy certainly seems bizarre in some respects, including his efforts on behalf of Ms. Meng up until last week, his late entry into the race and his subsequent silence in the media. Embracing this argument, Mr. Lancman went nuclear on what he called the “sham candidacy by a long-time party hack.”
But how do the other candidates in the race feel about Mr. Gottlieb’s entry?
“If true, it’s racial and ethnic politics at its ugliest,” Steven Stites, a spokesman for Republican candidate Dan Halloran, charged. “Jewish New Yorkers have another reason to be repulsed by the Democratic Party.”
Meanwhile, Eric Yun, the spokesman for the fourth Democratic candidate in the race, Councilwoman Liz Crowley, declined to opine on the legitimacy of Mr. Gottlieb’s candidacy, simply saying, “Anybody who wants to run for office should be allowed the opportunity under the democratic process.”
For their part, Ms. Meng’s campaign also declined to comment on Mr. Gottlieb specifically, but did suggest Mr. Lancman’s motives are less than holy.
“Though I would remind you that Assemblyman Lancman earlier pressed strongly for the support of the Queens County Democratic Organization, the same collection of accomplished elected officials and activists he’s now denouncing based on theory and conjecture,” Ms. Meng’s campaign spokesman, Michael Tobman, said in an earlier email.