GRAND OL' PAGAN: What Does the Republican 'Heathen' Running for New York's City Council Actually Believe?


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Halloran leads New Normandy in the ritual of "sumbel."
Ravenhawk was also surprised to hear that Halloran is a Republican. "Most of us are Democrats," she said, adding that "To be a pagan, you have to have faith in a higher power." She doubted that heathens shared that sentiment.

But Halloran hasn't left any doubt on that score. After the Tribune story revealed his heathenism, he answered with an article in the Queens Chronicle, titled "I Believe in God." That use of the singular noun, however, didn't sit well with pagan bloggers, who reacted with scorn for Halloran's refusal to use the words "gods." Pandering to Roman Catholic voters, some called it.

The blowback was so strong, Halloran responded with an e-mail to one of the blogs (after repeatedly telling the Voice that questions about his religion had no bearing on his candidacy). Halloran pledged his allegiance to the one-handed Germanic deity Tiw (also spelled Tyr). He also avowed "respect of the Gods of the North and the Wights of Middenyard," and declared that he's such a proud heathen, his two cars bear personalized license plates that read "Tiw Tru" and "Tyr Tru."

The original Tribune article has rankled Halloran from the time it was published. His campaign has charged that the Tribune is published by the same people who own Multi-Media, a PR firm that his Democratic opponent, Kevin Kim, retained for $80,000. Kim doesn't dispute this: "My relationship is with Multi-Media. That relationship has been fully disclosed. You'll have to ask the Tribune about their editorial decisions."

Pagan or not, Halloran still looks like a tailor-made candidate for the Bayside district. He's Irish, a former cop turned lawyer, and he descends from a long line of Roman Catholic police officers. Kim, a Korean-American, is better financed, but much of Kim's support comes from outside the 19th district, which is not overwhelmingly Asian.

Last week, things heated up again when Kim's campaign filed a police report alleging that two Asian campaign workers had been harassed by Halloran supporters while they were putting up posters. They claim that the duo was surrounded by about a dozen white teens, carrying Halloran paraphernalia and chanting "White Power!" and "Asian Man Out!"

Halloran doesn't believe a word of it. "They said it happened at 3:30 in the afternoon, but there were no witnesses?" Halloran told the Voice at a recent campaign stop. Halloran accuses Kim of trying to create religious and racial divides where they don't exist. But again, he didn't bring up his own religious beliefs.

Next week, one candidate will make history in Bayside. If Halloran is defeated, Kim will be the first Korean-American elected to New York's city council.

Or, if Halloran wins, he will surely be the only elected official in America with special license plates honoring an ancient, one-handed German god.



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