Bowne Park, where Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, on Monday, is obviously a site of great personal importance to the candidate.
Halloran, who is reportedly the first openly practicing Heathen to hold public office, pointed out that the Park, a few blocks from his home, was where the creators of the Flushing Remonstrance, a 1657 document that paved the way for religious freedom to be included in the Bill of Rights, convened.
Halloran began his speech by stating that an owner of the estate, John Bowne, who offered sanctuary to Quakers, “stood up for the oppressed minority.”
In Queens, which is the most diverse county in the world, Halloran could been seen as a minority. He holds a leadership role in his religion, Theodish Heathenism, in which he reportedly has a group of followers.
Halloran said he hoped the Sixth District, which stretches from Northeast to Central Queens, remembers that “God is part of the equation, no matter how we see him.”
The statement struck the correct chord with , Executive Vice Chairman of the Queens GOP, who later commented that people of faith are being “pushed out of the of the public square.”
Speaking to a subject close to the hearts of many monotheists, Halloran affirmed his support for Israel on Monday.
Halloran campaigned , who holds a non-interventionist view towards Israel and international conflicts, and has said that he would not intervene in an armed conflict between Israel and Iran. But Halloran clarified his own view, saying, “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and deserves our full support.”
Along with Israel, two other issues comprise what aids say will be pillars of his campaign: jobs and gas prices.
“I will work to create jobs and grow small businesses. I will fight for energy independence so our middle-class families pay less for gas at the pump,” said Halloran, adding, “Our middle class, our American values, and our national security are at stake.”
The Sixth Congressional District, which has no incumbent following redistricting, and the of Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-Bayside, now includes Bayside, Bayside Hills, Forest Hills, Rego Park and Oakland Gardens.
Democratic candidates in the race include state Assemblywoman , D-Flushing, Assemblyman , D-Fresh Meadows, and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, D-Middle Village.