Before the Democratic primary, minor parties back different candidates for an open congressional seat
9:18 pm Apr. 3, 20122
The Working Families Party and Independence Party backed different candidates in the three-way race for an open congressional seat in Queens. The labor-backed W.F.P. endorsed Assemblyman Rory Lancman yesterday, and today, the somewhat more ideologically eclectic I.P. endorsed Assemblywoman Grace Meng.
Lancman, Meng and a third candidate in the race, City Councilwoman Liz Crowley, are all running as Democrats. The extra party line means they would appear on the general election ballot in November if they lose the Democratic primary.
Third parties have a habit of endorsing candidates before the major parties settle on a candidate in the hopes of influencing those outcomes. But if they back a candidate who loses the Democratic or Republican primary, the minor parties are then left with a candidate who may or may not be actively campaigning anymore. If that happens, minor parties can disengage from their chosen candidates by nominating them for judgeships, thus technically taking them out of the race. That frees up the minor party to back whomever wins the Democratic or Republican primary.
So, for example, the Conservative Party backed Rick Lazio for governor in 2010 but got behind Carl Paladino after Lazio was destroyed in the primary. And the W.F.P. backed a gubernatorial placeholder candidate while wrestling with the question of how to support Andrew Cuomo, who was refusing to cooperate with their platform.
Since both Lancman and Meng are lawyers, so, they could be nominated for judgeships too.
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