For many Queens Republicans, there was hope that Tuesday’s primary election for state committee positions, also known as district leaders, would put an end to the ongoing civil war within the party.
But as results trickled in Wednesday, it appeared there wasn’t any decisive decision one way or another.
In tomorrow's Republican primary for the state committee positions in the 26th Assembly District, which includes Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck and Whitestone, Queens Republican Chairman Phil Ragusa and former Board of Elections Commissioner Judith Stupp are facing off against Sal Bacarella and Ann Marie Devlin, in a race that could end the years-long civil war in the county party.
As the Democratic primary races for citywide offices and open seats on the City Council top the headlines, on the Republican side are key elections that have gone relatively unnoticed, but could hold huge consequences to the future of the borough’s small, but powerful, GOP.
Across Queens, there are nine races for the state committee, a key position that often decides who gets the county organization’s backing for statewide races.
Officially the chairman of the Queens Republican Party is Phil Ragusa. But if what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says is true, that may come as a surprise to the borough party’s Deputy Chairman Vince Tabone, who was one of six people indicted in the scheme centered on state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone).
Teachers, students and community members gathered in the Business, Computer Application and Entrepreneurship High School to voice opposition to the Department of Education’s proposal to close the school.
Panel for Educational Policy President Dorita Gibson, High School Superintendent Juan Mendez, BCAE Principal Lynne Calendar, student government representatives and school faculty sat in front of an audience of about 30 to hear presentations and public statements on the proposed phasing out of BCAE.
The ongoing civil war between two factions of the Queens Republican Party is flaring up again — just in time for the 2013 city elections.
It all began when Queens Republican leaders failed to appropriately renominate Judith Stupp as the borough’s GOP commissioner on the Board of Elections by the Jan. 31 deadline. Stupp, a district leader from Bayside, is a key ally of Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa.
Queens politics in 2012 brought new districts, a historic election in the 6th Congressional District and enough cloak-and-dagger intrigue to fill a Robert Ludlum novel.
But when Hurricane Sandy struck in October, killing 12 people in Queens and more than 40 in the city, devastating the Rockaways, Howard Beach, lower Manhattan and Staten Island, the people of central Queens, who were largely spared the storm’s wrath, rallied to the cause of those worst hit.
Politics in middle and southwestern Queens was the favorite sport outside of Citi Field in 2012, and the worst storm to hit the region in 74 years devastated some while causing others just a few flickers of their lights.
As the year began, the city filed an appeal of a ruling by federal Judge Nicholas Garaufus that found discrimination on the part of the FDNY against African-American firefighters in the testing and hiring process.
Politics dominated much of the news in South Queens in 2012. With local and national elections looming, the communities were the epicenter of a hard-fought state legislative race with statewide implications.
But much like T.S. Eliot’s explanation of the apocalypse in “The Hollow Men,” the campaign ended not with a bang, but with a whimper, shoved from the top of people’s minds by the most devastating natural disaster to strike South Queens in a lifetime.
Eleven Queens residents were among 19 people indicted last week for their alleged connections to a prostitution-based money laundering operation.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly announced the indictments on Nov. 21, saying they are the result of a 16-month investigation that focused on an advertising firm that placed ads for prostitution services in print and online publications in New York City.
Eleven Queens residents were among 19 people indicted last week for their alleged connection to a prostitution-based money laundering operation.
Republicans at the borough and state level are declining to comment on a published report in which Congressman Bob Turner (R-Queens, Brooklyn) said he might be interested in becoming the chairman of the Republican Party in Queens.
The Queens Chronicle will cohost a debate between incumbent state Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and his opponent Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Our Lady of Grace Church, at 100-05 159 Ave. in Howard Beach.
The Forum newspaper and good government group Citizens Union join the Chronicle as cohosts of the debate, which will be held less than three weeks before voters go to the polls in what could be the tightest state legislative race in New York State.
The Queens Chronicle will co-host a debate between incumbent state Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and his opponent Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Our Lady of Grace Church, at 100-05 159 Ave. in Howard Beach.
Councilman Eric Ulrich, with his wife Yadria, speak to supporters at Roma View in Howard Beach last Thursday after defeating Forest Hills attorney Juan Reyes in the GOP primary for the 15th state Senate District.
Despite all the problems Queens voters faced last week, they showed their independence by bucking the major parties in key contests.
Republicans chose City Councilman Eric Ulrich of Ozone Park over Forest Hills attorney Juan Reyes to challenge Democratic state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. of Howard Beach for the 15th District seat in November. Good. Reyes was put up by the Queens GOP leadership simply to stymie Ulrich as part of an intraparty feud so deep and virulent it seems like something out of a Mafia movie.
In the final weeks of the Republican primary for the 15th state Senate district, Forest Hills attorney Juan Reyes, backed by the Queens GOP leadership, whacked his opponent, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), for being supported by the state Republicans, for often voting against the wishes of his party and even for being a devout Catholic with gay friends.
In the end, none of it appeared to have worked. If anything, it might have backfired.
It was expected that there would be confusion among some voters in last Thursday’s primaries due to redistricting and the resultant shifting of some people’s polling places to new locations. But all across Queens, voters also reported being given bad information by the Board of Elections, prompting some to forget about voting altogether.
At PS 113 in Ridgewood, Republicans were voting in the primary race for the 15th state Senate District between City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and Forest Hills attorney Juan Reyes, while Democrats were casting ballots in the 38th Assembly District race between incumbent Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) and challenger Etienne David Adorno, a City Council aide.
In the final weeks of the Republican primary for the 15th state Senate district, Forest Hills attorney Juan Reyes, backed by the Queens GOP leadership, whacked his opponent, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), for being supported by the State Republicans, for often voting against the wishes of his party and even for being a devout Catholic with gay friends.
Councilman Eric Ulrich thanks supporters after declaring victory over primary rival Juan Reyes at Roma View in Howard Beach Thursday night.
Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) told supporters he has won the primary to retain his seat, beating challenger Etienne David Adorno. Miller's campaign staff said Miller took 71 percent of the vote to Adorno's 29 percent, citing unofficial Board of Elections figures.
As expected following this year's redrawing of state legislative districts and the Board of Elections' admission that it directed thousands of people in Queens to the wrong polling places, a number of voters were unpleasantly surprised when going to cast their ballots in Thursday's primaries.
One of the mailers from the campaign of state Senate Republican candidate Juan Reyes accusing his opponent, Councilman Eric Ulrich, of flip-flopping on LGBT issues.
Juan Reyes mailer, left, attacks Councilman Eric Ulrich for his support from the State GOP by invoking the Soviet Union, while and Ulrich mailer accuses Reyes of being a Queens GOP puppet.
Disgusting. Outrageous. Disgraceful.
Choose whichever word you’d like to describe the depths to which some Queens political activists have sunk in two of the borough’s most important primaries, in which voters cast ballots today, Sept. 13. They all work.