One of the seven Democrats seeking to become the next Queens district attorney is said to be bowing out of the race and endorsing a rival just five days before the primary.
Two sources reported on Thursday night that City Councilman Rory Lancman is dropping out of the race. He was not in attendance at a candidates’ forum held at York College on June 20.
QNS reached out to the Lancman campaign by phone and email for confirmation and has yet to receive a response. The campaign informed QNS via email that Lancman would make a “campaign announcement” on Friday morning at 11 a.m. at the New Jerusalem Worship Church in Jamaica.
Community leader from VOCAL New York Carl Stubbs told QNS that his organization received confirmation Thursday night from Lancman as have others who previously endorsed him switched to public defender Tiffany Cabán.
“I just got the call,” Stubbs said, explaining that he was just told Lancman would be backing out to endorse Queens Borough President Melinda Katz before walking into the York College candidates forum.
Another source close to the race also indicated in a tweet that Lancman would be backing out and endorsing Katz.
I have heard that @RoryLancman is considering dropping out of the Queens DA’s race and backing @MelindaKatz. If this happens, it would be a shocking move for a candidate that raised more than $1 million.
Lancman has not confirmed for me. He is missing from tonight’s forum.
— Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) June 20, 2019
State Senator James Sanders and Rockaway Youth Action Fund, both of which initially supported Lancman, issued their new endorsements for Cabán over email and Twitter.
“We are excited to announce our endorsement of Tiffany Cabán, candidate for Queens District Attorney!” RYAF said. “.@CabanForQueens is running on a platform of decriminalizing poverty, ending cash bail, decriminalizing sex work and more.”
“As a public defender, a Queens native and a criminal justice reform champion, Tiffany has what it takes to turn the Queens DA into an office that fights for justice, not jails,” Sanders stated. “Black and brown New Yorkers have been mistreated and harshly punished by the broken criminal justice system for far too long—Tiffany Cabán is going to bring real justice to working families in Queens.”
Amid news of Lancman potentially bowing out, retired Judge Gregory Lasak, one of the field of Democratic district attorney candidates, minced no words in what he thought of the shakeup.
“This sounds like a classic plea deal. The political machine pleaded for one career politician to endorse another career politician, and once again Queens families are left out,” Lasak said.
This is a developing story; stay with QNS for further updates on this and other stories leading up to the June 25 district attorney primary.