By CONOR FEBOS
In a race that never seemed close, Assemblywoman Grace Meng trumped Council member Dan Halloran Tuesday and made history by becoming New York’s first Asian American elected to Congress.
The Queens-born Meng won 72 percent of the vote.
The sixth congressional district, which includes most of southeastern Queens and comprises mainly middle-class, minority communities, was Meng’s territory from the beginning, especially when redistricting made Asian Americans nearly 40 percent of the district.
Halloran was never thought to have much of a chance in the district that’s voted Democrats to Congress for the past 29 years.
However, the District 19 councilmember, who described himself as a candidate who could reach out to all ethnic groups, continued to blast Meng as running a campaign of “ethnocentrism” based on her Asian roots.
Halloran, 40, described Meng as a “Chinese National” and implied that she had dual citizenship. That assertion was in fact wrong. He went on to stress the division between China and Israel in an interview with the Times of Israel, air jordan 5 femmes and said that his opponent would only add to the problematic relationship.
Meng’s camp fired back, noting that it wasn’t the first time Halloran used anti-Asian remarks, referencing his alleged racial attack against Democrat Kevin Kim in the 2009 city council race.
“True to form, Dan Halloran has abandoned the issues in favor of a campaign rooted in bigotry, fear and lies — a desperate approach for a Tea Party Republican who cannot otherwise win on the issues,” said Meng campaign spokesman Austin Finan.
Israel remained a key issue in the race for Rep. Gary Ackerman’s seat in the realigned NY-6, and some analysts initially gave Halloran an outside shot in the district that includes a crucial Jewish population in Forest Hills and Kew Gardens.
But further diminishing any chance for a Halloran victory was Mayor Bloomberg’s recent endorsement of Meng, who also received support from Governor Cuomo.
The mayor was quoted as describing Meng as the independent voice in Congress that Queens middle-class families deserve.
Halloran’s camp snapped back at the mayor, who was elected as a Republican, accusing him of having no real shot at fixing problems, but rather capable of only supplying false promises – much like Meng, according to Halloran.
Meng also triumphed in the June Democratic primaries in when she faced fellow New York Assemblyman Rory Lancman, City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and physician Robert Mittman. In another landslide victory, Meng won 52 percent of the vote to Lancman’s 28 percent. The other two candidates split the rest.
But Lancman did not fade quietly.
After months of extensive campaigning that included harsh attacks by both candidates, Lancman attempted to belittle Meng’s role in the assembly and criticized her stance on Israel and national defense.
Lancman, who strongly pursued the Jewish vote in a district that stretches from Bayside to Maspeth, and who was endorsed by the New York Daily News and the Queens Chronicle, failed in his efforts after Meng received support from the New York Times, EMILY’s List and, most importantly, Queens County Democratic Party Chairman, Joseph Crowley. His backing of Meng, which came as a surprise since his cousin was one of the candidates, helped bolster Meng’s campaign.
Meng was able to overcome some bad publicity regarding her father, air jordan 6 femmes too, after feds busted Jimmy Meng in July for allegedly promising to help a man bribe Manhattan prosecutors and subsequently attempting to deceive him out of the $80,000 payoff.
Meng’s reaction and response was instrumental in her success throughout her campaign. She asserted that she was unaware of her father’s doings and was independent of her father, taking none of the dirty money associated with him.
Her opponent in the district’s race, however, did not let it go. Halloran continuously attacked Meng on her father’s troubles and used it as ammunition to help undermine her qualities as a leader.