After a weekend endorsement from the Queens Republican Party, City Councilman Dan Halloran is prepared to announce a run for the newly drawn and newly vacant 6th Congressional district. He is now focused on winning support from the state Conservative Party, and plans to make a formal announcement on Monday.
“Obviously this is not a decision I take lightly,” Halloran told me by phone just now. (Ringtone: “Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey.) “It’s an important race, and I’m happy and honored to have to be nominated by the Queens Republican Party.”
The news that Halloran was officially jumping into the race was first reported by the Politicker, but had been speculated about for months.
The district used to be represented by Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman, who announced last week that he would not seek re-election this fall. That touched off a mad scramble among Queens Democrats to replace him. Three emerged: Assemblywoman Grace Meng (who got the official party endorsement); Assemblyman Rory Lancman; and Councilwoman Liz Crowley.
Halloran said that Republican lawyer David Storobin’s better-than-expected showing in a special election for a State Senate seat in Brooklyn helped convince him to jump in the race.
“The Storobin raced proved that there’s not a reflexive Jewish vote for the Democratic Party,” he said. “You just need the right candidate for the right circumstances.”
The problem for Halloran is the congressional district, which has 3-to-1 Democratic enrollment advantage, is more left than right. Halloran said the redrawn lines but 40 percent of his own Council district in the congressional one, as well as portions of former Sens. Frank Padavan’s district (currently represeneted by Democratic Tony Avella) and Serph Maltese’s district (currently represented by Democrat Joseph Addabbo), as well as a sliver of former Councilman Dennis Galagher’s district (currently represented by fellow Congressional candidate Liz Crowley).
In short, a variety of Republican and conservative voters, split up among a host of Democratic candidates, just waiting to be roused into action.
“It makes for an interesting race,” Halloran said, who admitted he held “no delusions” that a victory would take a lot of cash and outside support.
“This was not on my list of things to do for this year,” he laughed. “I was asked to run.”
Halloran, an avowed fan of Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul, said Mitt Romney at the top of the ticket in November would still be good for his race.
“Mitt’s a good guy,” he said of the candidate that everyone sees as the inevitable nominee but who’s had an impossible time getting there. “I’m a fan of Romney.”
Of the three-way Democratic primary for the seat, Halloran said: “This is going to be a real brawl.”
The councilman said he personally likes all three candidates. He worked with Lancman on senior issues, and with Crowley on the Council’s fire safety committee, where the two banded together to save the firehouse in Halloran’s district.
And on Grace Meng, who stands to become the first Asian American member of Congress from New York, Halloran said: “I love her. She’s a great person.”
Queens GOP vice chairman Vince Tabone was less complimentary of the Democratic candidates.
“All three would be a rubber stamp for the failed policies of Barack Obama,” Tabone said, when asked who would be the preferred opponent for Halloran. “It’s not even worth gaming.
Tags: Andrew J. Hawkins, City Council Serph Maltese, Congress, Dan Halloran, Dennis Galagher, Frank Padavan, Gary Ackerman, Grace Meng, Joseph Addabbo, Liz Crowley, Queens, Rory Lancman, Tony Avella, Vince Tabone
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