Times Endorses Grace Meng and Clyde Williams [Update]

nyt t Times Endorses Grace Meng and Clyde Williams [Update]The New York Times this morning endorsed Assemblymember Grace Meng in her congressional campaign against Rory Lancman and Liz Crowley.

As we have written about before, The Times remains the single biggest endorsement in much of the city and state, and Mr. Lancman, who runs strong in neighborhoods where the paper’s penetration is high, had been counting on their endorsement.

Update: Mr. Lancman’s campaign spokesman Eric Walker wrote in to disagree with this assessment:

“To clarify, it was your blog – not us — that said in an earlier story that we were counting on the Times endorsement. Getting or not getting the Times has never been a significant part of our electoral strategy. We’d rather have the Times than not, but we’re more than happy to take the Daily News’ full-throated endorsement over the Times’ tepid, pro-forma, 2-paragraph piece at the bottom of the page that says as many good things about Rory as it does about our main opponent.”

Meanwhile,  Ms. Meng’s campaign sent in a response to Mr. Lancman’s response, using a line in the Times endorsement to land another dig:

“Rory Lancman parades around as a self-important politician, but he often leaves behind a trail of sour grapes…”

In other news, the paper gave its nod to Clyde Williams in his race against Charlie Rangel, writing  that “it is past time for Representative Charlie Rangel to retire.” The Times also called Adriano Espaillat,  “a vigorous advocate in Albany for Hispanic immigrants” but conceded that  “to represent this district, he would have to reach out to a wider constituency of African-Americans, whites and Asians.”

The paper also backed Hakeem Jeffries, calling his opponent Charles Barron “an embarrassing ideologue.” The Times gave its nod to Nydia Velazquez and Rich Becker as well.

Full endorsements below:

Instead of the usual fall Congressional primary, the vote in New York this year will be on June 26 — days away. These are also newly drawn districts. What hasn’t changed is that New York needs strong representatives in Washington, and voters need to go to the polls and make their voices heard. Here are our endorsements in five Democratic primaries:

 NEW YORK DISTRICT 18: ORANGE, PUTNAM, PARTS OF WESTCHESTER AND DUTCHESS COUNTIES

The incumbent, Representative Nan Hayworth, a Republican, has support from the Tea Party, and no challenger in her party’s primary. Democratic voters will have to choose a strong candidate from a field of five.

Dr. Richard Becker, a cardiologist and Cortlandt town councilman, got into the race after Representative Hayworth (also a doctor) voted for the Ryan budget, which threatens vital programs, including Medicare. He has a record of service, including establishing a cooperative to help residents buy heating oil at a reduced rate.

His main competition is Sean Patrick Maloney, a Manhattan lawyer who recently moved into the district. (Mr. Becker lived in the district until it was redrawn and says he will move there if he wins.) Mr. Maloney has sound ideas and an endorsement from President Clinton for whom he worked as a White House aide. We are concerned about his work with former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. During an investigation of “Troopergate,” he appeared to be most interested in holding back the staff’s personal e-mails from investigators. We endorse Richard Becker.

NEW YORK DISTRICT 13: NORTHERN MANHATTAN, MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, HARLEM, FORT GEORGE, PLUS PARTS OF THE SOUTH BRONX
It is far past time for Representative Charles Rangel to retire. After a distinguished career, he embarrassed himself by failing to pay taxes and committing other ethics violations, which resulted in a rare censure from the House. He has two strong primary challengers this year.

State Senator Adriano Espaillat has been a vigorous advocate in Albany for Hispanic immigrants. To represent this district, he would have to reach out to a wider constituency of African-Americans, whites and Asians.

Clyde Williams, a dynamic former top official of the Democratic National Committee, moved to Harlem in 2001 to work with President Bill Clinton’s foundation and helped create a small business initiative. He understands the area’s diverse needs and has plans for job creation, education and tax reform. We endorse Clyde Williams.

NEW YORK DISTRICT 8: BROOKLYN, FROM BEDFORD-STUYVESANT TO CONEY ISLAND
Representative Edolphus Towns, a Democrat, is retiring. We have no doubt about who should be the Democratic nominee in this race.

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries is a solid legislator and the chief sponsor of a law that requires the New York Police Department to discard data about anyone who has been stopped and frisked but not charged with a crime. He has worked to bring in more affordable housing and strengthened protections for tenants. City Councilman Charles Barron is an embarrassing ideologue, who rants against Israel and invited Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwe dictator, to City Hall. We endorse Hakeem Jeffries.

NEW YORK DISTRICT 7: SUNSET PARK, WILLIAMSBURG AND BUSHWICK BROOKLYN; FRESH POND AND WOODHAVEN IN QUEENS; AND PARTS OF MANHATTAN’S LOWER EAST SIDE
Representative Nydia Velázquez has served her district well for 20 years, including by earning crucial Superfund designations for the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek. After refusing to follow orders from Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the Brooklyn Democratic Party leader, she has her first strong challenger: City Councilman Erik Martin Dilan. Mr. Dilan’s close ties to the Brooklyn machine are enough to disqualify him. We endorse Nydia Velázquez for re-election.

NEW YORK DISTRICT 6: QUEENS SECTIONS OF FLUSHING, FRESH MEADOWS, FOREST HILLS AND RIDGEWOOD
Representative Gary Ackerman, a Democrat, is retiring. Two of the Democrats vying for the nomination, Grace Meng and Rory Lancman, are well qualified. Both are members of the State Assembly. Mr. Lancman has used the legislative process intelligently to help homeowners recoup legal fees in foreclosure cases and to expand state investigations of Wall Street. But he often leaves behind a trail of irritation.

Ms. Meng knows how to build bridges, but she is also prepared to fight. When Republicans in the State Senate opposed her bill to help immigrants find government services, she convinced Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration to make it statewide policy. She has promoted women’s issues in Albany and sponsored legislation that trimmed taxes for older residents. We endorse Grace Meng.