Democratic Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman is planning to challenge Republican Congressman Bob Turner for his seat in the House of Representatives this year. However, if Mr. Lancman decides to run for re-election to the Assembly, he thinks his wife’s ethnicity will be instrumental in helping him win his new majority Asian district.
“The new district has somewhat of a larger percentage of an Asian population, but my wife is Asian, from Iran and I have a very good relationship with those communities. So, if I end up running for re-election to the assembly, I would be very happy,” Mr. Lancman said in an interview on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” last night.
Mr. Lancman announced his plan to run for Congress and filed paperwork to form an exploratory committee on Tuesday. Though Mr. Lancman is confident he could get re-elected, the possibility of him staying in the Assembly is remote. With the chaotic current electoral situation in New York, legislative lines and primary dates are not set, but Mr. Lancman said he doubts he’d run for re-election even if the schedule works out so that he could try to hold his Assembly seat if his campaign for Congress doesn’t work out.
“I don’t know if that even is a technical possibility. I doubt that it’s really practical. I think, if one decides to run for Congress and makes a full blown effort for that, I assume there will be other people who will then want to run for the Assembly seat that you would be vacating,” Mr. Lancman said.
Mr. Lancman also doubts there will be two separate primaries in New York.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think New York is going to have a separate primary date for the Congressional election and the legislative election,” Mr. Lancman said. “It would be a terrible waste of money, so I think everything gets done in June, that’s my sense.”
In the unlikely event he abandons his campaign for the House of Representatives, Mr. Lancman says he’s “very happy” with the proposed lines for his Assembly district.
“My current Assembly district would change quite a bit. I’m very happy with those lines, I had a big hand in drawing them,” Mr. Lancman said. “I already represent an extraordinarily diverse community. … On any given week, I could be inside a synagogue, a mosque, a Sikh temple, a Hindu temple, or a Catholic church. You name it.”
Mr. Lancman said Mr. Turner’s conservative voting record convinced him to enter the race.
“When Bob Turner’s first vote was to make it easier to outsource jobs, when his signature vote since he’s been in office was to vote against raising the debt ceiling bringing us back to the debacle of last summer where the country almost defaulted on its debt. … When he says things like John Boehner is the guy that he agrees with more than anyone else. I mean, he’s just not representing me or representing the people in the district and I think, for that reason, we need new representation,” Mr. Lancman said.
Mr. Turner took the district from the Democrats in the special election to replace Anthony Weiner after the infamous Twitter sex scandal.