Gottlieb pulls out of race for Ackerman seat

By Joe Anuta

As Democratic candidate Jeff Gottlieb dropped out of the Queens congressional seat Thursday, two other contenders picked up more endorsements Thursday.

Gottlieb, an employee of the city Board of Elections who outraged Democratic opponent Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) with his entrance into the race, has decided to end his bid, according to a spokeswoman for the city Board of Elections. Gottlieb had no immediate comment.

She said Gottlieb had withdrawn his candidacy Thursday and the nomination will be filled by Stephen Green.

“It’s just musical chairs and a different sham candidacy,” Lancman said of Gottlieb’s decision to pull out of the crowded field for the Queens seat. Lancman feared that some Jewish voters in the newly redrawn district would split their votes between him and Gottlieb.

Lancman accepted the endorsement of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union Local 1 Thursday afternoon, and a union spokesman said Lancman is the man to create jobs on a national level.

Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) also racked up an endorsement from United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500.

“Construction employment in New York is still sitting at last year’s dismal levels,” said William Nagel. “Rory, we need you to send a message to the radical Republicans in Congress.”

Lancman said Washington should take a page from New York state’s $15 billion program to spur infrastructure improvements to create growth across the country and could also add skilled workers to payrolls by ensuring construction companies do not shortchange their workers to cut costs.

“The 6th District is a middle-class district filled with people who work with their hands for this city,” Lancman said.

Meng drew union support for her stand on defending workers from wage gouging.

“Local 1500’s understanding of how to advance important, progressive issues and projects mirrors my candidacy and campaign,” Meng said in a statement. “I am thrilled to be working with them to protect and press forward the priorities of hardworking Queens families.”

The union threw its support behind Meng after she supported increased penalties for employers who stiff their employees on their paychecks, according to union President Bruce Both.

“Grace understands the severe economic consequences of wage theft to taxpayers, workers and responsible employers and worked diligently to ensure the law passed in the first year it was introduced,” he said in a statement.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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