Pro-Trump candidate looks to oust Meng
by Benjamin Fang
Sep 09, 2020 | 7637 views | 0 0 comments | 537 537 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After defeating two opponents in the Democratic primary in June, Congresswoman Grace Meng will face off against a pro-Trump Republican in November.

Tom Zmich, an Army Reserve veteran and 35-year member of the Bricklayers Union, is running against Meng, who has represented the 6th Congressional District in Queens since 2013, this November.

The district includes neighborhoods in central and northeast Queens such as Elmhurst, Maspeth, Glendale, Flushing and Bayside.

Zmich, a Bayside resident, is not shy of expressing his allegiance to Trump. In 2018, he led a group called “MAGA Queens” to rally in support of the president at Maspeth Memorial Square. At that rally, he called for supporting Trump’s policies, including backing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), building a border wall and stopping illegal immigration.

In an interview with the congressional candidate last Wednesday, Zmich said he wants to build the Trump Presidential Library in Queens.

“Trump comes from here,” he said.

He said he would even seek to allocate federal funding to help build the presidential library, although all previous presidential libraries have been constructed with private or non-federal funds donated to nonprofit organizations, according to the National Archives and Records Administration.

In some cases, presidential libraries also receive construction and development funding from state or local governments. When built, the sites are then transferred to the federal government and maintained through a congressionally appropriated budget.

Zmich said he would support funding for that initiative as part of a bigger infrastructure allocation for projects like alleviating traffic on Main Street, improving Little Bay Park and supporting the proposed LaGuardia Airtrain, he said.

Zmich accused the incumbent of not doing enough to alleviate the concerns of homeowners and small businesses in the district during the pandemic.

In May, he sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and congressional leaders calling for federal relief for Queens landlords.

“We’re in the middle of a crisis,” he said. “There’s no help for the middle class people.”

Zmich said while talking to people in the district, he found constituents like Meng, but feel her policies are “no good.”

“The policies are not what the people in his district want,” he said.

Zmich has also taken positions on controversial local issues. In July, he called for the “eviction and termination of contract” for the Cooper Rapid Rehousing Center in Glendale, which houses 100 homeless men.

He also expressed support for reactivating the Rockaway Beach Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) branch. Other groups have proposed converting the abandoned rail line into “QueensWay,” a High Line-inspired park and green space offering pedestrian and bike paths, recreational opportunities and economic development for the area.

Though Meng made history in 2012 by becoming the first and only Asian-American member of Congress from New York, Zmich said he believes he can win over the district’s voter base.

Zmich swill also run on the Conservative, Independence and “Save the City” party lines, the latter of which he created.

“I’m running because we the people in the district needed someone to run,” he said. “I can’t sit here for another two years and do nothing.”
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