Candidates in two of the borough's hottest races will face off Thursday night in a debate hosted by the Juniper Park Civic Association and the Daily News.
Democratic Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran are vying to represent the newly redrawn Sixth Congressional district. The seat becomes vacant next year when longtime U.S Rep. Gary Ackerman retires.
Green Party candidate Evergreen Chou will also be on the ballot.
In the other race, Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich is challenging Democratic State Sen. Joseph Addabbo's re-election bid.
Senate Republicans believe Ulrich can be a top contender in their efforts to capture a Democratic seat. He is viewed as a rising star in the Republican Party and has received funds to help run an aggressive television and print campaign.
Democrats are rallying around Addabbo, one of the few lawmakers to receive the endorsement of Gov. Cuomo, who called him a man of "conscience, integrity and courage."
Addabbo backed Cuomo's plan to legalize gay marriage.
The redrawn district now extends from Rockaway to Forest Hills, and includes more of Ulrich's City Council district.
Meng is poised to make history as the first Asian-American member of
Congress from New York.
She and Halloran have tangled in recent weeks over late financial disclosure forms (hers) and missed campaign finance disclosure filings (his).
The candidates will take questions from a panel of reporters as well as members of the audience.
"Debates are the best way to actually see candidates one-on-one discussing issues, much better than mailed campaign literature," said Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.
The panel, to be moderated by Lisa Colangelo of the Daily News, will include Azi Paybarah of Capital New York, Joe Anuta of the Times-Ledger and Sam Goldman of the Times Newsweekly, which is also a co-sponsor of the event.
The forum starts at 7:45 p.m. at Our Lady of Hope School Auditorium, 61-21 71st St. in Middle Village.
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