From the Politicker:
When the Queens Democratic Party rolled out its endorsements this morning in Forest Hills, one notable demographic, African Americans, was left without a major candidate. Indeed, Queens' black political establishment looked on with disappointment as their favored candidates for mayor, borough president and public advocate were passed over for rivals.
Congressman Joe Crowley, the party chair, endorsed Council Speaker Christine Quinn for mayor and former Councilwoman Melinda Katz for borough president. While a vast majority of district leaders voiced their approval, Elmer Blackburne and several other black district leaders dissented, indicating that instead they would support Bill Thompson, the former comptroller, who is also black. Ms. Quinn and Ms. Katz are white.
"Our community tells us that they're gonna vote for him [Thompson] again," Mr. Blackburne, a district leader from a predominately black southeast Queens, told reporters after the endorsement meeting. "We feel strongly and we'll be working very strongly with Mr. Thompson. [Ms. Quinn] can't win in our district. She can't win the Bronx, from the numbers I'm getting. She can't win in her own district, I'm told--her own part of Manhattan--and she can't win in Brooklyn."
Mr. Blackburne said he understood the county organization had an appreciation for diversity but also made decisions that were not always popular with the local black political establishment. Archie Spigner, a former southeast Queens councilman and close ally of sitting Councilman Leroy Comrie, the black candidate Mr. Crowley was considering endorsing instead of Ms. Katz for borough president, expressed disappointment at the seemingly last-minute decision the county organization made to not support Mr. Comrie.
"I'm disappointed but I understand their logic," Mr. Spigner told Politicker. "We'll have to see whether Leroy continues in the race. If he continues in the race, I'll be with him. The reasons they gave me were that he was a very unsuccessful, unspectacular fund-raiser."
Sources indicated that Mr. Spigner and other Comrie allies were only informed of Mr. Crowley's decision to support Ms. Katz late Saturday and Sunday. Initially, Politicker reported that the county organization was expected to back Mr. Comrie, despite his poor fund-raising. However, according to several plugged-in Democratic sources, Mr. Comrie's candidacy was met coolly in the pivotal organized labor community, some of whom favored Ms. Katz. When other candidates, sources said, made it clear they were not going to step aside if Mr. Crowley backed Mr. Comrie, the county organization reevaluated their plans and chose Ms. Katz, a strong fund-raiser and former county-backed candidate for Congress.