The Queens Republican Party announced last week that it has endorsed two candidates to oppose state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) in the fall election.
Opposing Avella, who is completing his first term, will be Joseph Concannon, a retired police officer from Bellerose now in the security business. Ralph Cefalo, long active in Whitestone community groups, will face Braunstein, who is also finishing his first term.
In endorsing Concannon, county GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa said that Avella had not filled the shoes of Frank Padavan, the veteran Republican Avella beat in 2010. “The current incumbent by every benchmark has simply failed the community,” Ragusa said in a prepared statement.
He blamed Avella for failing to deliver resources to the community and sponsoring “nonsensical legislation that has nothing to do with bread and butter issues.”
Avella’s re-election campaign offered the following statement in reply: “Queens’ families know that Senator Avella has worked hard to protect taxpayers, create jobs, and expand opportunity. Phil Ragusa is back to playing his partisan political games. Queens will reject Ragusa’s petty attacks the same way they rejected him when he ran against Tony Avella in the past.”
Concannon is a 25-year NYPD veteran and a former senior analyst in the Mayor’s Office for public safety agencies. He now works for the nonprofit InfraGard, an organization he founded and labeled as a public-private collaboration for critical core infrastructure protection.
The GOP described Cefalo, who lives in Malba, as having a 35-year record of community service, including a long tenure in leading the Whitestone Volunteer Ambulance Corps. “He will contrast his extraordinary record of service with that of the freshman incumbent Assembly member,” the statement read.