With less than two months until Election Day, the race between President Trump and former Vice President Biden is heating up. So much attention will be focused on the national contest that it’s easy, especially in deep blue New York, to forget that local races are far more important in terms of representation. This is why Republican Tom Zmich is challenging Democratic incumbent Grace Meng for NY Congressional District 6.
Tom’s run for Congress isn’t his first foray into politics. As a member of the Queens Independence Party in 1992, Tom worked hard to ensure the passage of term limits for the New York City Council, which happened in a 1993 referendum. As a member of the Army Reserve from 1987-1995, Tom was active duty during the Gulf War. After being honorably discharged, Tom became, and is still is, a dues-paying member of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Construction Union. He and his wife began a grassroots pro-Trump organization in 2018 called MAGA Queens.
Tom decided to challenge Grace Meng when he realized that she was not representing her community; in fact, her community didn’t know who she was. The Zmich campaign did a ground survey and found that the majority of people they asked in the district didn’t know who their representative was, and those who knew Meng claimed to have reached out to her with no response. When Tom, through his MAGA Queens rallies, saw how many people came out to support President Trump in the heart of Democrat-controlled New York, he was motivated to run.
Tom discussed his union background, and how unions typically vote Democrat. “Back in the day of John F. Kennedy and back in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, yes, the Democratic Party was the working families party,” Tom said, “but things have changed.” One of the hardest hits to unions in the past decade was the implementation of Obamacare. “When Obama changed everything around [with Obamacare], our union coverage just totally went in disarray.” The tiers that Obamacare created conflicted with the union contracts, and the lower tier coverage was eliminated. “The universal health care system that they want to implement for everyone is totally going to bankrupt this country,” Tom laments.
Tom speaks for the blue-collar worker, because that’s what he spent his life doing. He knows that the market under President Trump was far friendlier to working-class families than under Obama-Biden. Prior to the black-swan event that is COVID, the employment and economic numbers under Trump were unparalleled. Tom wants to help rebuild what America had before the pandemic decimated the economy.
Then there is the violence that has hit every major city in the country, including New York. “We 100 percent support the police,” Tom said. He added that the attacks on law enforcement are not new. Last year, there was a series of videos that showed people dumping water on the heads of officers. “There’s total disrespect for the police and our law enforcement – and that needs to stop because we have to have some semblance of law and order in this country.”
Meng has historically been, according to GovTrack, one of the more middle-of-the-road Democrats, halfway between center and socialist. She has, however, been pulled farther to the left, given her first primary challenge in her congressional career. She endorsed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s reelection, and signed onto Ayanna Pressley’s anti-police resolution.
Meng, who in 2012 tweeted, “Incredibly honored to receive the endorsement of the PBA. I’ll always stand by our men and women in blue #NY6 #NY06”, is now saying that “We must address the tragic and dark legacies of police brutality, systemic racism, and excessive policing that has caused considerable harm to communities of color, so we can build a more just society.” In a time where Democratic supporters of law enforcement are few and far between, Meng seems to have taken the side of the mob.
While the PBA has not made an endorsement in the NY-6 race, they have broken with tradition and endorsed President Trump for re-election. Police officers in New York City – and around the country – are starting to see that their friends in government exist on the right side of the aisle.
It will be a long haul for Tom Zmich, as he is a relative unknown taking on a five-time incumbent in a deep blue district. However, if there is ever a year where the unexpected can happen, it’s 2020.
Moshe Hill is a political analyst who has written for The Daily Wire, the Queens Jewish Link, The Jewish Link of New Jersey and JNS.org. He is regularly featured on ‘The Josh M Show’ podcast. Subscribe to www.aHillwithaview.com for more content from Moshe Hill. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/ahillwithaview and follow him on Twitter @TheMoHill.