By Joe Anuta
City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) marched his two great Danes into Bowne Park Monday afternoon and declared his run to for the congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside).
Halloran had received the endorsement of the Queens County Republican Party over the weekend, and many party members and conservative elected officials were on hand in the chilly breeze to congratulate the councilman, who wasted no time criticizing President Barack Obama and outlining national issues he said affect Queens residents.
“I am very glad to be here today and make my announcement just two blocks from where I live, and just 15 blocks from where I grew up,” he said.
As of Monday evening, Halloran was the only Republican candidate running for the seat and did not have a primary challenger.
The Democrats, on the other hand, face a three-way primary that will culminate on June. 26.
Ackerman shocked the political world with the announcement that he will not seek re-election and will retire at the end of his term Jan. 2, 2013.
The Queens GOP Party saw the vacant seat as an opportunity, according to party members, and eventually settled on Halloran as their man.
“This president came in and spent trillions of dollars, and has run up the national deficit to a point we have not seen in the history of this country,” Halloran said.
He mentioned Obama’s positions on job growth, defense strategies of both America and Israel and gas prices as some of the policies that he contends have harmed the borough.
Halloran was elected to the City Council in 2009. He was born and raised in Whitestone and practiced law in the borough.
Halloran said that constituents need a new voice in Washington, but his voice has been heard at various volumes in New York City.
Former state Sen. Frank Padavan introduced the councilman, and made several veiled references to headline grabbing incidents involving Halloran, including a spat with NYPD traffic officer Daniel Chu and a video capturing the congressional hopeful unleashing a salty tirade at a local auto dealer.
Halloran himself also hinted at another aspect of his personality that was brought up during his 2009 campaign — his religion.
Halloran is a devotee of a form of neo-paganaism, and briefly mentioned God during his Monday evening announcement.
“God is part of the equation, however we see him. This race will not be distracted by non-issues at any time,” Halloran said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.