By Phil Corso
After losing in a Democratic primary to U.S. Rep.-elect Grace Meng in June and declining to seek re-election in the state Assembly, Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) announced Monday he was shifting his focus to a run for the City Council.
“There’s going to be a tremendous amount of turnover in city government in 2013 from the mayor on down,” Lancman said. “The city is facing challenges economically and there is a real opportunity and need for people with experience and energy to try to help shape its direction in the next four to eight years.”
Under the city’s term limits law, members of the City Council are allowed to serve only eight years in succession before they must step down.
For six years Lancman, a lawyer, has represented the 25th Assembly District, which includes Flushing, Fresh Meadows, and Hillcrest. But come Dec. 18, Lancman said he will begin campaigning for the same area’s 24th District seat to be vacated by term-limited City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows).
“If elected, I would have some enormous advantages including experience. I know how to get bills through a very difficult legislative process. I know how to conduct oversight of government agencies. I know how to lead within a legislative body,” Lancman said. “With so much turnover, there will be a premium on Council members with experience and who have the energy to get things done for the city.”
Next month, Lancman will kick off his campaign for City Council in the company of U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), who is chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, among many other party leaders — a support system he did not have earlier this year when he ran and lost in a four-way Democratic primary to Meng.
But looking back on the primary run, Lancman said he received plenty of support from voters within the 24th Council District surrounding Fresh Meadows and looked forward to taking his message of economic fairness, education reform and a focus on public safety back to the region.
Through his time in the Assembly, Lancman said he has remained an advocate of lowering classroom sizes in schools and pushing a fair tax code for groups, including co-op and condo owners, as well controlling the costs of housing and transportation.
“I plan on working on the same spectrum of issues and applying them to city government instead of state government,” Lancman said. “The experiences I have had in Albany as an effective legislator will help me hit the ground running.”
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.