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Meng defeats Halloran, becomes first Asian American from NY in Congress


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The state will send its first Asian American to Congress after Assemblymember Grace Meng locked up a landslide victory, according to unofficial results.

Meng won her 6th District Congressional bid by overwhelming margins, securing 66 percent of votes, early poll numbers showed.

She bested her Republican opponent, Councilmember Dan Halloran, more than doubling his vote total, tallying 100,571 ballots with nearly all precincts reporting.

“Tonight, we celebrate the culmination of many, many months of hard work,” Meng said at her victory party in downtown Flushing. “Tonight is historic in that we’ve taken one small step in getting more women elected to government. It’s important to protect girl power.”

Meng secured endorsements from big name organizations and major figures in the political sphere, including the district’s current representative, Congressmember Gary Ackerman, who announced in March he would not seek re-election this year.

She fought off three opponents in June and won a hotly-contested primary race with 51 percent of the vote.

The district is a newly-drawn one and covers Flushing to Bayside, extending to Glendale.

“I thank you all for the victory and for the trust you’ve placed in me,” Meng said. “We have a lot of work to accomplish on behalf of the people who suffered because of Hurricane Sandy and on behalf of the people of New York and America.”

Halloran conceded and congratulated his rival for her Capitol triumph, adding that a Republican would have had a “tough time under the best of circumstances” in Queens.

“It doesn’t seem like even the tallies coming in will overcome the lead she acquired,” he said. “She went through a grueling primary and did a lot of hard work. We did a great job putting together a campaign in a short period of time. And now I’m going to go have a drink.”

– With additional reporting by Maggie Hayes