Halloran’s Choice
by Anthony Stasi
Apr 13, 2010 | 8752 views | 0 0 comments | 143 143 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For weeks, the rumor has been that Councilman Dan Halloran might run for the congressional seat currently held by Representative Gary Ackerman. Ackerman is a very entrenched incumbent, twice challenged by Republican Grant Lally (in 1994 and 1996). The races against Lally were really the only tough bouts Ackerman has had in almost 20 years.

The Queens GOP has done a good job getting behind its candidates, and Halloran’s win was good for New York City, since it gave the City Council a new voice. But Halloran takes his share of abuse, sometimes from fellow GOPers, and other times by the media that likes to point out Halloran’s unique religious preferences.

Halloran won a hard-fought campaign against Kevin Kim, who is a great fundraiser, but running against Ackerman is an entirely different experience. The 5th Congressional District is stretches from Queens into Nassau County. It is a very hard district to win, especially when your opponent has won 13 elections in a row.

Halloran would run a good race against Ackerman, but a good race and winning are not the same. The last thing Dan Halloran wants is to spend the entire summer campaigning and spending money in order to run a “good race.” What might be more of a concern for Halloran is that by running, he has to take some time away from being a councilman, a role he only recently stepped into.

Halloran is a pragmatic Republican, and regardless of all of the Tea Party momentum rolling around the country, this is the kind of candidate that can win in the 5th District. Halloran should run for the congressional seat, but he has to get full-on party support at the state - and even the national - level.

The national party will be focusing on certain seats to win back, and by doing that they will pour some money into these campaigns. For instance, the GOP has been trying to win back a congressional seat in Pennsylvania for the last few cycles. Even Bush and Cheney were watching that district to see if they could win it back. If Halloran can get help from the national party and the state party, then a decision to challenge Ackerman would come with more muscle.

Without major help from his party, Halloran would be better in the City Council for now, and New York City would benefit from that.

Getting His Phil in Augusta

Phil Mickelson winning the Masters tournament comes at the right time for golf. It was good for Tiger Woods, and for golf, to have Tiger back in action, but Mickelson has been the most famous number two guy in sports for more than ten years. Mickelson has worked through a year when his wife was diagnosed with cancer and a sport that was thrown off balance after the Woods affairs. Lefty, as Mickelson is referred to on the tour, has now won three Masters green jackets. Sam Snead used to say, lefties are the most graceful on a baseball field, and they are often the least graceful on the golf course, but Mickelson put on a good show on both Thursday and Friday to win it. Now, can he negotiate Forest Park’s 4th hole?

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