After Winning Primary, Meng Now Focuses On Halloran
After winning a four-way Democratic primary for Congressman Gary Ackerman's seat in Washington, Grace Meng is shifting her focus to the general election, where her Republican rival appears to be ready for a fight. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
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A day after besting her opponents in the Democratic primary for a Queens congressional seat, Grace Meng was back on the campaign trail.
The 36-year-old State Assemblywoman worked the room at a senior center in Forest Hills, still glowing from her decisive victory Tuesday night.
"Anxious to win in November and anxious to get to work," she said.
Even though Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district by more than three to one, Meng's Republican opponent may be a formidable one. City Councilman Dan Halloran is an attorney who doesn't shy away from political battles.
"There's one issue and there's only one issue: the economy," Halloran said. "This president has taken us in the wrong direction and unfortunately, Assemblywoman Meng is part of the Obama ticket."
Halloran may be forced to deal with another issue sure to surface on the campaign trail: the fact that Meng is poised to be the first Asian-American to represent New York in Congress.
"That's exciting," Meng said. "But even more exciting is that me getting elected to Congress would increase the number (to) 17 percent of women in Congress.
Halloran is already trying to downplay the historic significance of a win by Meng. He says race should be irrelevant in this campaign.
"We want to send the best person to Congress, male or female, black or white," he said.
In her victory speech, Meng made it clear she wants to keep race and religion out of it as well. Halloran's pagan faith became a hot topic during his campaign for City Council. He was not willing to discuss his beliefs in an interview with NY1.
"I am not going to spend time talking about something that is a non-issue," he said. "If you want to spend time talking about the issues, let's talk about the economy. Let's talk about the president and the direction he's heading us in. I'd be happy to do it."
Sounds like sticking to the issues is at least one area these two seem to agree on, at least for now.