Republican Councilman Daniel Halloran criticized his competitor in the race for the 6th Congressional District after raising money during an event hosted by Assemblyman Sheldon Silver on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11.
Standing outside City Hall earlier today, Halloran said he "can't imagine" what Democratic opponent Grace Meng was thinking.
"Yesterday she was out trying to get money from New Yorkers on the 9/11 holiday," he told the Gazette. "I'm absolutely disgusted as someone who lost a cousin on that day."
A spokesman for Meng's campaign said that the candidate "spent the day commemorating the tragic events of September 11th with various organizations throughout the city."
"Indeed, one of those events was a lunch with Speaker Silver where Grace had the opportunity to share her remembrances with community leaders," spokesman Austin Finan said in a statement emailed to the Gazette. "To be clear, it was not a fundraiser. It was a meet and greet lunch. If individuals in attendance chose to contribute to Grace Meng's campaign, that was their prerogative."
Finan declined to say how much money was raised at the event.
The Daily News initially reported that Silver â€” under scrutiny for his role in a secret payout to settle sexual harassment allegations against a peer â€” hosted the lunch event at The Prime Grill in Manhattan for Meng yesterday.
Silver told the News there was "nothing inappropriate" about the timing.
â€śI think itâ€™s about the future," he said, adding that he mentioned the anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people during the event.
Meng's campaign didn't immediately respond to a phone message requesting comment.
Halloran and Meng will face off for the 6th Congressional District seat in November's general election.