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New York - 5th District

Incumbent -- Gary L. Ackerman (D) ; Will retire at end of current term (announced March 15, 2012)

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The 5th stretches east from south of LaGuardia Airport in Queens into northwestern Nassau County, reaching Roslyn and East Hills. Almost 80 percent of the Democratic-leaning 5th's residents live in Queens.

Just under half of New York City's Asians live in Queens, especially in downtown Flushing, which has the second-largest Chinatown in New York. The district has the largest Asian population of any congressional district outside Hawaii or California. The neighborhoods in Corona have a strong Hispanic influence.

The 5th's economy, especially in Flushing, is supported both by small businesses and national chains. The economy here also is heavily driven by white-collar jobs located outside the district and is boosted by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. Sports fans and tourists visit major sporting venues Citi Field in Flushing, the home of baseball's Mets, and the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, where the U.S. Open tennis tournament is held each year. Continuing residential and retail development in Flushing aims to transform waterfront and former industrial sites.

Although pockets of low-income neighborhoods exist in the 5th, northeastern Queens has affluent areas such as Douglaston and Little Neck. Before fanning eastward into Nassau, the district buttonhooks to the south and west along the Grand Central Parkway to take in some communities in north Jamaica. Residents along Long Island's "Gold Coast" in Nassau County areas such as Roslyn Estates enjoy some of the nation's highest incomes and a generally rich lifestyle.

The district's portion of Nassau tends to be more politically competitive than its strongly Democratic section of Queens. Democrat Barack Obama won the parts of both counties that are in the district, and he took 63 percent overall in the district in the 2008 presidential election.

Major Industry

Higher education, health care, small business

Cities

New York (pt.), 531,615; Port Washington (unincorporated), 15,846

Notable

Trumpet virtuoso Louis Armstrong is buried at Flushing Cemetery; the Queens County Farm Museum is New York City's largest tract of farmland.

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