Only three of the seven sitting members of Congress representing Queens are facing challengers in June’s Congressional primary, according to the New York City Board of Elections.
The most intriguing of the three Democratic primary contests scheduled for June 26 involves the 14th Congressional District seat held by incumbent Joe Crowley — who’s also the chair of the Queens County Democratic Party and one of the highest-ranking members of the House Democratic Caucus. The 14th District covers much of northwest Queens and crosses over the East River into the Bronx.
In June, Crowley — who has served in Congress since 1998 — is facing his first primary challenger in more than a decade: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx, who’s making her first run for public office after years of civic involvement.
Another longtime incumbent who holds the neighboring 12th Congressional District seat, Carolyn Maloney, is facing Manhattan attorney and professor Suraj Patel. In April, Patel — who had once worked on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign — announced that he’s raised more than a million dollars toward his upstart bid.
The 12th District covers Manhattan as well as parts of Astoria and Long Island City.
Two candidates are challenging Congressman Gregory Meeks for his 5th Congressional District seat: Mizan Choudhury, a Bellerose business owner, and Carl Achille, a civic activist from Elmont. The 5th District covers much of southeast Queens and the Rockaway Peninsula.
Polls will be open on June 26 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; only registered Democrats can participate in the Democratic primary. Click here for more details.
No GOP primaries, but party has eyes on November
All of Queens’ representatives on Capitol Hill are Democrats — not a surprising statistic considering that registered Democrats in Queens (785,866) far outnumber registered Republicans (134,602) in the borough at about a 6 to 1 ratio. Two years ago, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton carried Queens — President Donald Trump’s birthplace — with 75 percent of the vote.
There are no Republican primaries for Congressional seats scheduled for June, as party leaders have already selected their nominees to run in the November general election. But three of the four incumbent members of Congress representing Queens who aren’t facing a challenger in the June primary also lack a Republican opponent in November.
They are Congresswoman Grace Meng of the all-Queens 6th District, which covers the central and northeast areas of the borough; Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez of the 7th District, which covers Manhattan, Brooklyn and parts of Ridgewood, Glendale and Woodhaven; and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of the 8th District, which includes central Brooklyn and the Queens neighborhoods of Ozone Park, Lindenwood and Howard Beach.
Congressman Tom Suozzi of the 3rd District, which includes northeast Queens, northern Nassau and northwestern Suffolk counties, can also relax for the June primary, as he is unopposed. Suozzi, however, is facing a challenge in November from Republican businessman Dan DeBono of Suffolk County.
The winners of the 5th, 12th and 14th District Democratic primaries will have to contend with Republican opponents in the November general election. They are Michael O’Reilly (5th District), who unsuccessfully challenged Public Advocate Letitia James last year on the Conservative Party line; Eliot Rubin (12th District), a Manhattan small business owner; and Anthony Pappas (14th District), an economics professor.
Joann Ariola, chairperson of the Queens County Republican Party, told QNS that the party made the decision to concentrate their resources on races they believe they have the best chance of winning in November, rather than running a full slate of challengers with little chance of success.
Before the Nov. 6 general election, voters of all parties will head back to the polls in September for primaries to decide the candidates in statewide races.