After Democrat Grace Meng secured her party's nomination for Congress on Tuesday night, she was all business, campaigning first thing in the morning in Forest Hills.
At her election night party, she spoke directly to her Republican opponent, City Councilman Dan Halloran, urging him to "run a campaign on the issues.
"Let's not engage on race or religion or use fear tactics or intimidation," she said.
Halloran seemed happy to oblige Wednesday. He wasted no time congratulating her in an e-mailed statement — and raising a litany of sharp contrasts.
"Assemblywoman Meng wants to raise taxes and increase spending. I want to lower taxes and fees and spend responsibly. Assemblywoman Meng wants another failed government stimulus, bailing out corporations and failed fiscal policies. I want to help the private sector create working-class union jobs and grow our economy," Halloran said. "Assemblywoman Meng wants to cut New York City's share of anti-terror funding from Washington to punish the NYPD. I want to protect those dollars and keep our city and its police officers and firefighters safe."
It's the first official salvo in what's likely to be a hard-fought campaign on both sides. While the district was redrawn this year in a way that seems friendly to Democrats, the Queens GOP undoubtedly also sees an opportunity to stake out some territory in the borough after a surprising 2011 win by U.S. Rep. Bob Turner, R-Forest Hills.
Stick with Patch for the rest of the year to see how things unfold.