JEFF BACHNER/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
New York Assemblywoman Grace Meng has come under attack by Republican City Councilman and Congressional candidate Dan Halloran, who ahs accused her of having dual citizenship, which she does not, and being “sympathetic to China.”
Halloran vs. Meng is getting nasty.
Republican City Councilman and Congressional candidate Dan Halloran – fresh off a politically-charged visit to Israel – is blasting his Democratic opponent Grace Meng for running a campaign of “ethnocentrism” based on her Chinese roots.
Meng “has been sympathetic to the Chinese, and she’s touted her strong Chinese history as being the reason she’s the appropriate candidate to represent the Chinese people in New York,” Halloran said an interview with The Times of Israel.
Halloran described himself as a candidate who reaches out to all ethnic groups and called the Queens-born Meng a “Chinese National” in the interview and suggested she has dual citizenship.
Meng, in fact, does not have dual citizenship.
“China is the biggest obstacle to Israel in the United Nations,” he said.
Meng’s camp shot back, saying Halloran is employing the same anti-Asian tactics he used in his 2009 City Council race against Democratic candidate Kevin Kim.
“True to form, Dan Halloran has abandoned the issues in favor of a campaign rooted in bigotry, fear and lies – a desperate approach for a Tea Party Republican who cannot otherwise win on the issues,” said Meng campaign spokesman Austin Finan.
“The xenophobic undertones and outright racism found in Mr. Halloran’s words is appalling and offensive – not only to Grace Meng, but to her diverse group of tens of thousands of supporters who reside in every corner of the district,” he said.
Israel has been a key issue in the battle for retiring U.S Rep. Gary Ackerman’s seat in the redrawn Sixth Congressional district.
While the sprawling district – which reached from Bayside to Maspeth – has a large Asian population, it also includes a key Jewish population in Forest Hills and Kew Gardens Hills.
Halloran spokesman Steven Stites fired back that Meng’s “faux outrage is utterly hypocritical.”
While he refused to comment specifically about Halloran’s statements in the piece, Stites accused Meng’s campaign of using “racially divisive tactics” and recruiting a Jewish candidate to divide the Jewish vote in the primary.
Meng’s campaign has denied those charges.