Working Families to back Lancman, setting up a showdown with Meng and the Queens Dem organization

Rory Lancman, talking about Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (Rory Lancman, via flickr)
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Bucking the Queens Democratic Party establishment, the Working Families Party is endorsing Assemblyman Rory Lancman, a source with direct knowledge of the decision tells me.

The endorsement gives Lancman a major boost in terms of field operations and access to organized-labor coffers.

The Queens Democratic County organization has thrown its support behind another candidate, Assemblywoman Grace Meng.

A third candidate, the county leader's cousin, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, was also banking on strong support from labor.

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All three candidates are pro-labor, broadly speaking. Lancman and Meng voted against the Cuomo-backed Tier 6 plan that passed in Albany, and Crowley was an early supporter of the paid-sick-leave legislation that was strongly supported by the W.F.P.

Politically, the move sets up a direct challenge between the Queens County organization and some of the unions that often combine forces with the party.

In 2010, the W.F.P. opted essentially to back whichever candidates in the statewide races the Democratic Party favored. (By contrast, the Green Party, which is also left-of-center, backed its own candidates against Democrats.)

The congressional primary is scheduled for June 26, moved up from September. No other elections are taking place on that day, setting up the sort of low-turnout contest that gives an outsize advantage to the candidate with the strongest organization backing.