If successful, she will be the first Asian-American Congressional Member elected anywhere on the East Coast of the United States. However, the historic nature of her candidacy went unmentioned today, and was possibly even downplayed slightly as her campaign signs contained only her first name.
Instead, in addition to focusing on traditional Democratic themes like education and labor, Ms. Meng’s announcement event seemed at least partially geared towards the district’s sizable Jewish constituency. One of her two opponents, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, has struck out with an Israel-oriented campaign platform and Ms. Meng clearly isn’t interested in being outflanked on the issue.
“I wanted to mention, as a Jewish-American, that Grace Meng in Washington will immediately be the most visible advocate for the state of Israel that we’ve had in Washington in a long time,” Councilman Mark Weprin said to introduce her. “Someone who cares about Israel’s right to live free and to be safe and secure.”
In her own speech, Ms. Meng vowed to be a “fierce defender of democracy worldwide and the state of Israel” and said “protecting America’s commitment to democracy and Israel’s safety” would be among her priorities.
Councilwoman Liz Crowley is also vying for the Democratic nomination. GOP Councilman Dan Halloran is expected to announce his own campaign for the seat tomorrow.
Watch Ms. Meng announce for Congress below: