Yesterday we wrote about how City Councilwoman Liz Crowley’s entrance into the Congressional race to replace Gary Ackerman seemed, on its face, a little absurd.
Ms. Crowley’s cousin is Congressman Joe Crowley, the head of the Queens County Democratic Party, who threw their support behind Assemblywoman Grace Meng. And Ms. Meng would be New York City’s first Asian-American member of Congress, representing a district that has a slight plurality of Asian residents.
But a Democratic source emailed us today to suggest that Ms. Crowley or the third person in the race, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, may have a better chance that it first appears.
According to this source’s breakdown of the new district, NY-6 is 39 percent Asian and 38 percent white, with another 18 percent Latino and 4 percent African-American. However, when you breakdown the district by voting age eligible U.S. citizens, the district becomes 32% Asian, 47% White, 14% Latino, 4% Black (our source stressed that these numbers are estimates, especially since the exact contours of the district were only discovered yesterday.)
Meanwhile, if one drills down further to break the district down into those voters who only are considered “likely” voters in a congressional primary, the percentage of White voters swells to 56 percent, with only 27 percent of Asian voters considered likely.
It is worth noting that these numbers could change significantly if/when Asian voters rally around the pathbreaking possibility of Ms. Meng’s candidacy.
For her part, Ms. Crowley’s may face a big problem may be getting on the ballot. Because she doesn’t have the party’s support, she has to rely on labor unions and other forces for boots on the ground, but her biggest supporters in labor have been the building trades, who don’t typically get engaged in petitioning.
Even if she does get on the ballot, many Queens politicos remain soundly skeptical of her prospects. Mr. Lancman, who has for months been planning a run against GOP Congressman Bob Turner before redistricting changed his plans, has a huge head start in fundraising and could be a solid fit for the district’s elderly Jewish voters, likely to turn out in heavy numbers on primary day.
Meanwhile, a labor source told The Politicker that Ms. Meng’s biggest problem will be getting labor unions with bases outside of Queens to support her.
“She is largely not known outside of Queens,” said one labor operative, who pointed out however that many locals could have a hard time not endorsing the first Asian-American candidate from New York City, especially one who is a woman, since “so many unions consist of women and people of color.”
All three candidates are expected to make their case to the Working Families Party sometime later this week.