Queens Dems back Katz for beep

Queens Dems back Katz for beep
Photo by Christina Santucci
By Joe Anuta

The Queens County Democratic Party endorsed a slew of candidates Monday, including former Assemblywoman Melinda Katz who picked up the party’s backing for borough president and Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) who the group is supporting for mayor.

The party, led by U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) also backed Reshma Saujani for public advocate, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for city comptroller and a number of candidates in borough races, including lawyer Paul Vallone in the crowded field hoping to replace City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone).

Katz and several other candidates released statements after Monday’s party meeting in Forest Hills.

“I am honored, humbled and deeply grateful for the support of the Queens County Democratic Party and our great chairman, Congressman Joe Crowley. Together, we are building a campaign that will truly represent all of Queens and our wonderfully diverse communities, great neighborhoods and the limitless potential that exists in our borough,” Katz said.

Quinn responded to the announcement with a statement, saying, “The unrivaled diversity of Queens and the cohesion of the County Democratic Committee make this endorsement a key victory for our campaign. Queens County Democrats understand that we need a mayor who has a vision for improving the lives of middle class New Yorkers and those aspiring to get there.”

The party’s nod to Quinn means that Crowley passed over the only mayoral contender who is part of the organization.

City Comptroller John Liu was a City Council member representing Flushing before he was elected to citywide office in 2009, and according to many political insiders, has garnered support and money for the party.

However, former members of his campaign, including his treasurer, were recently found guilty of participating in a scheme to defraud voters by a federal jury, which several insiders believe stacked the odds against him for the endorsement.

The race to replace Halloran heated up after the lawmaker was indicted in a separate federal bribery probe, and in response to the party’s endorsement, Vallone issued a statement.

“Now more than ever is the time to restore integrity and trust to the 19th City Council seat. I am humbled and privileged to have the district-wide support of our elected officials, district leaders, as well as our community and civic leaders,” he said.

The party also backed former Assemblyman Rory Lancman in his bid for a Fresh Meadows City Council seat.

“I am truly grateful to Congressman Joe Crowley, Chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, and all the district leaders and elected officials whose overwhelming support has made today’s endorsement possible,” he said.

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

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