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Queens Chronicle

Queens Republicans call organizational meeting for Friday

Ragusa foes cry foul over last minute announcement during Jewish holiday

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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 5:10 pm

The Queens GOP feud may come to a head Friday afternoon.

The party is scheduled to convene at 12:30 p.m. at 167-17 Northern Blvd. in Flushing in an organizational meeting that will also elect its leadership. The meeting will include some of the district leaders who were elected in the Sept. 10 primary, including at least two new ones who defeated incumbents aligned with borough GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa. 

But a GOP source said there's some ire over when the meeting was called and how it was announced. It is being held on a workday and during a Jewish holiday.

The source said some of the notices were mailed out during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot and Jewish GOP committee members did not receive the notices and will not be able to make the meeting. Others, the source said, will not able to take off from work on short notice. 

The members can still vote by proxy.

"It's still despicable," the source said.

A spokesman for the Queens Republican Party did not return a request for comment. 

One of the Ragusa-backed district leaders who was defeated on Sept. 10 was former Board of Elections Commissioner Judith Stupp in the Bayside-based 26th Assembly District. She was ousted by Anne Marie Devlin, who supports removing Ragusa — now her co-district leader — as chairman of the party. The other district leader defeated was Ruby Muhammad in the Corona-based 35th Assembly District. She was ousted by Ivy Mingott. A third race, between Ragusa-supporter Rosemarie Iacovone and Margaret Ognibene, the wife of former Councilman Tom Ognibene, who attempted to oust Ragusa in 2011, is still undecided. 

Mingott's son, Eric, a former state Assembly candidate, said he found out about the meeting at just before 5 p.m. on Thursday and that his mother won't be able to attend because she has to work. He said his mother's notice informed her that she could only be able to vote by proxy if she casts a vote for Ragusa, which she will not do. 

"It's dirty," Eric Mingott said. "I guess this is how they win elections." 

He said that he had heard about the concerns from Jewish district leaders over the meeting being called during Sukkot. 

"We are all disappointed." Mingott said. "But we'll see what happens next." 

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