Assemblywoman Grace Meng is so far holding an enormous fundraising edge in her race against Republican Councilman Dan Halloran for a seat in Congress, and the Halloran campaign knows it can’t compete on money.
Meng took in more than $158,000 in the last three weeks of June, according to Federal Election Commission documents filed Monday. This brings her total raised to more than $900,000.
Halloran took in just more than $9,000 in that same three weeks, raising his total to about $19,000.
He has been consistently and substantially out-raised by Meng, who got a head start during a heated Democratic primary against Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, Assemblyman Rory Lancman and political unknown Dr. Robert Mittman.
Steven Stites, a spokesman for Halloran, said because there was no definitive Democratic opponent until after the primary in June, the race hadn’t yet been framed in donators’ minds—causing a lag in money given to the unopposed Republican candidate.
Even so, only four of the 19 contributions Halloran received in June came in after Meng won the primary.
Regardless, the Halloran campaign isn’t counting on money for an edge in a heavily Democratic district.
“We know Dan is an underdog and that he’s not going to be able to raise as much as Meng is,” Stites said. “He’s an underdog, an outside and an insurgent. That’s just our lot in life.”
Despite that, Stites said they have a fighting shot if they can tie Meng and Democrats to an economic situation Republicans say has not improved since President Obama took office four years ago.
Halloran, now, will be pitching his candidacy more aggressively to constituents and small businesses that his campaign believes are eager to donate.
“It’ll be ramping up more now,” Stites said. “He’ll be financially competitive.”
Halloran also wasn’t able to jump as quickly out of the gate after an operation to remove a benign brain tumor in May.
“He spent a fair amount of time the last couple of months in the hospital recovering from his surgery,” Stites said.
Halloran and Meng are vying to represent the 6th Congressional District stretching from Bayside to Ridgewood.
By Jeremiah Dobruck