Meng, Addabbo Celebrate Election Wins
By STEVEN J. FERRARI
Assemblywoman Grace Meng greets supporters before her victory speech Tuesday night.
Photo by Ira Cohen
"Let's get to work."
With those four words, Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) closed out her victory speech Tuesday night as she became the first Asian-American woman from the East Coast to be elected to Congress.
Meng defeated her Republican opponent, Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), by a more than two-to-one margin, taking 67.7 percent of the vote in the newly-created 6th Congressional District.
As Meng stood on stage in a ballroom at the Sheraton LaGuardia Hotel in Flushing, surrounded by family, fellow elected officials and other supporters who watched on as President Barack Obama won re-election, the Congresswoman-elect said she planned to work for common sense government and to restore trust in government for her constituents.
U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), whom Meng thanked for his support, said he was looking forward to working with Meng once she is sworn in when the new session begins in January.
"She brings a sense of class and style and an essence of grace that's badly needed," Crowley said.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), who stood with Meng as she delivered her speech, said that her decisive victory over Halloran was a clear indication of how hard she worked during her campaign.
While praising Meng's victory, Vallone also credited Halloran for his hard work.
"Dan is a tough opponent, he's a hard-working guy and a good legislator," Vallone said. "Having the win announced so quickly shows how big a victory this is for Grace."
While there was little suspense in the 6th Congressional District race, the contest between State Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) and Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) for Addabbo's 15th State Senate District seat was not so clear-cut.
While Addabbo held a 57-43 lead over his opponent when votes were counted Tuesday night, Ulrich did not concede defeat on Election Night, waiting until Wednesday morning to end his campaign via Twitter.
"[T]his morning I called Joe Addabbo to congratulate him on a decisive victory & pledged to work [with] him to unite our community," Ulrich posted to the micro-blogging site Wednesday morning.
"[T]his was a hard-fought campaign and while I truly appreciate the strong support I received on election day, its time to get back to work," another tweet read.
Addabbo said his campaign had to overcome a district redrawn to favor the Republicans during the decennial redistricting process and large amounts of money spent against him.
"But never did I waver in the fact that I knew we were going to win if we believed in the fact it wasn't about the money, not about the billboards, the commercials, not about the mailers," he said. "It's about the positive message."
In other races around the borough, first-time candidate Nily Rozic took 67 percent of the vote to win the 25th State Assembly District race. Rozic's Republican opponent, retired postal worker Abe Fuchs, took 25 percent, while Rozic's primary challenger, Jerry Iannece, took 6 percent on the Independence Party line. Conservative Party candidate William Garifal took 3 percent. Rozic will replace outgoing Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), who opted not to run for re-election.
"I'm so thrilled for myself, my supporters and for the district," Rozic said Wednesday morning.
Rozic expressed that she was especially looking forward to working with Meng once they assume their respective offices.
"We're going to do great things for the district," she said.
In the 40th State Assembly District, Democrat Ron Kim defeated Republican Phil Gim with 67 percent of the vote. Kim will assume the seat currently held by Meng once he is sworn in.
Incumbent State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) defeated her Republican opponent J.D. Kim for her 16th State Senate District seat, winning with 76 percent of the vote.
Two other incumbents state senators, Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) also won their contested races.
Reporters Ross Barkan and Joe Marvilli contributed to this article.