Republican Dan Halloran scored a clear victory over Democrat Kevin Kim in the 19th City Council district, 53 to 47 percent, after a hard-fought and sometimes acrimonious campaign marred by charges and counter charges.
None of this was in evidence when the new Councilmember-elect entered a packed victory party at C.J. Sullivan’s American Grill in Bayside to cheers.
“The voters of the district saw past all the nonsense and non-issues, and voted to preserve and protect their neighborhoods in the district,” Halloran said. “My opponent worked hard – I saw him everywhere I went today – and I look forward to working with Kevin Kim at Congressmember Ackerman’s office, for the benefit of all the people in my district.”
With 100 percent of polling places reporting, Halloran had 13,694 votes tallied, to 12,380 for Kim. “When the count got to 97 percent and Dan was leading by 1,300 we knew there was no way Kim could close the gap,” said Halloran campaign consultant Steven Stites. “It felt good.”
Warren Schreiber, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance and a staunch Kim supporter, was philosophical before dropping in on the festivities and being warmly greeted by the man he tried to defeat.
“He is the new Councilman,” Schreiber said, “and I look forward to working with him.” Just eight days before, Schreiber had spoken out strongly against a “racially divisive” Halloran mailer.
Halloran, who will represent the largely low-density residential neighborhoods of College Point, Malba, Whitestone, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck and parts of eastern Flushing, insisted that the focus was on overdevelopment, both during the campaign and in his victory statements.
“For 100 years, this has been an area marked by single family homes – my family built a lot of them – mom-and-pop shops, and a good quality of life,” Halloran said. “Rampant overdevelopment has threatened that – overcrowding our schools and taxing municipal services – and it has to stop,” he continued.
“Race was never an issue – it was always about my wanting to spare this part of Queens from the kind of intense development that went on in Flushing.”
Halloran said that “The first thing I’ll do is walk into the Department of Buildings and ask how they can accept plans that they know are out of code.”