Vallone’s camp rolled out endorsements on Monday from Rep. Grace Meng and Assemblyman Ron Kim, both Democrats who made history when they were elected last year.
“Paul Vallone is a strong fighter for his community and will make a dynamic and effective City Council member,” said Meng, the first Asian-American elected to Congress from New York.
“Paul and I are both raising our families in Queens and know the importance of keeping our community a great place to live,” she said.
Halloran, now facing federal charges as part of an alleged scheme to rig the Republican primary for mayor, is not seeking re-election.
Meng and Kim are considered key because of their influence in the Asian-American community — which makes up about 18% of Democratic voters in the district.
The 19th CD in northeast Queens, including parts of Flushing, Bayside and Little Neck and Douglaston, has a large and growing Asian-American population.
Halloran, a Republican, won the seat in 2009 after a fiery face-off with Democrat Kevin Kim.
Kim’s supporters griped that Halloran was fanning anti-Asian sentiment in campaign literature that showed pictures of crowded downtown Flushing.
There are no Asian-American candidates in this cycle’s Democratic primary, which includes Vallone, Austin Shafran, Paul Graziano and ex-Assemblyman John Duane.
Kim broke ground last year as the first Korean-American elected to the state Legislature.
He credited Vallone with helping “build a bridge between our communities.”
Vallone said he was “thrilled” to have Meng and Kim’s endorsements and looks forward to “restoring honesty and integrity to the 19th City Council seat.”