By Joe Anuta
State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) plans to run for the congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Bob Turner (R-Middle Village) in the upcoming 2012 elections, he said Tuesday afternoon.
Lancman filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to begin an exploratory committee, which would investigate the feasibility of a congressional run.
“The voters deserve a sharp contrast in terms of choice, and they are going to have that,” he said in an interview with TimesLedger Newspapers.
Lancman had expressed a desire to run for the seat last year in a special election that was held after Anthony Weiner resigned from the post amid a sexting scandal.
There were no primaries, and instead of Lancman the Queens Democratic Party picked state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) to oppose Turner.
Weprin ultimately lost, but Lancman, careful not to compare himself with his fellow assemblyman, said the race itself will be different this time around.
“I would say in the special election in September the voters were looking to send a message, but in November voters will be looking to send a congressman to Washington,” he said.
Lancman has been a vocal critic of the Republican congressman’s performance. He has gone out of his way to blast Turner for his positions on guns, unions and Israeli policy and an agreement he signed pledging not to raise taxes.
“Bob Turner is my congressman,” he said. “And I don’t expect my congressman to say U.S. Rep. John Boehner [R-Ohio] is the guy he agrees with more than anyone.”
Turner’s office could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday.
Lancman’s announcement appears to reflect a tacit understanding that the 9th Congressional District will still exist after the lines are redrawn for the entire state ahead of the primaries this spring.
“I’m optimistic that the district is going to survive and the boundaries will change some, but I will get a chance to run against Bob Turner,” he said.
So far, Lancman has raised about $130,000 for the campaign, which he said will be conducted over a short period now that the primaries have been moved from September to June.
No other members of the Democratic Party had put their names in the hat as of Tuesday afternoon, but Lancman could face off with a fellow Democrat in a primary if that changes.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.