GOP chooses Halloran to run for Ackerman seat

By Joe Anuta

The Queens County Republican Party endorsed City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) to run for the congressional seat that will be vacated by U.S. Rep Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) next year and Halloran was set to make a formal announcement at 5 p.m. Monday in Flushing.

Three lawmakers on the Democratic side have already announced their run for the 6th Congressional District seat, while Halloran is the only person on the Republican end that has entered the race so far.

“The new NY-6 is nestled entirely within our county and covers large areas where middle class voters and homeowners live with a history of voting Republican,” said Phil Ragusa, chairman of the Queens County GOP. “These are voters who have been most hurt by Obama’s tax and spend policies and disapprove of his fickleness with U.S. and Israeli security. That is why we have all rallied behind City Councilman Dan Halloran – a proven vote getter and a strong voice for taxpayers, small businesses and seniors.”

Halloran has served on the City Council since 2009, representing College Point, Auburndale, Bayside, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Douglaston, Little Neck and parts of Flushing.

The House seat went up for grabs after Ackerman unexpectedly announced his retirement, which will become effective Jan. 2, 2013.

The abrupt announcement opened up a new opportunity for Queens Republicans. Party leaders had hoped U.S. Bob Turner (R-Middle Village) would run for his seat again after he won a special election last year. But Turner’s district was eliminated as part of the redistricting process that adjusts political boundaries to reflect population changes. New York state lost two congressional seats as part of this process. Turner decided he would run for the U.S. Senate.

“While we were disappointed that the courts eliminated Congressman Bob Turner’s district, we take heart that Bob now is running for United States Senate,” Ragusa said. “Meanwhile, we see Gary Ackerman’s retirement and the new congressional lines as presenting a great opportunity to elect another GOP Congress member here in Queens.”

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718260-4566.

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