Phil Ragusa of Whitestone, the longtime chairman of the Queens Republican Party, has died. He was 74.
Queens GOP official Robert Hornak announced Ragusa's death in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our very distinguished Chairman, Phil Ragusa," the statement read. "Chairman Ragusa had dedicated his life to serving his community, the Republican Party, and particularly his friends and family. He has been Chairman of the Queens Republican Party since 2007 and will be sorely missed.
"Chairman Ragusa will be remembered for his integrity and commitment to the democratic process and was viewed by many as not just a friend but a mentor. He passed away peacefully in bed surrounded by his loved ones after a short battle with leukemia. Our deepest condolences and prayers are with the Ragusa family at this time of sorrow."
Ed Cox, chairman of the state Republican Party, offered his thoughts and prayers to Ragusa's family in a prepared statement, saying, "Phil was a good man, was dedicated to Queens County and the Republican Party and was an indomitable County Chair."
Across the aisle, Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) also offered her condolences in a public statement.
"I'm saddened to learn about the passing of Chairman Ragusa," Meng said. "He was a decent and honorable man who for many years worked tirelessly to help improve his community and his party. My heart goes out to his family and friends, and I ask Queens residents to join me in sending them our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Hornak said he expected to announce the time and place of services for Ragusa Wednesday.