Yesterday, the three main Democratic candidates to replace retiring Rep. Gary Ackerman went on Up Close with Diana Williams. The candidates for this northeastern Queens district, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, and Assemblywoman Grace Meng, were forced to say specifically where they would come out on some of the contentious issues of the day.
For example, Ms. Crowley recently announced her opposition to a police funding amendment that the rest of New York City’s Democratic congressional delegation supported (including her cousin, Rep. Joe Crowley), arguing it undermined the NYPD. Quizzed on how he would have voted, Mr. Lancman said he would have voted the same as Ms. Crowley, but Ms. Meng said the anti-discrimination language in the amendment was too important and indcated she would have voted in favor of the legislation.
The candidates also had to discuss President Barack Obama’s recent declaration that he supports gay marriage, as well as a controversial law requiring store signs to be at least partially in English — a big issue within the district’s large immigrant communities.