Gallagher, Top Aide to Ognibene, Announces Plans To Succeed Him Next Year
Dennis Gallagher, chief of staff to City Council Minority Leader Thomas Ognibene for the past nine years, has announced he will seek to succeed his boss as the Republican candidate in next year’s election for 30th District councilmember.
Ognibene, along with 36 of the council’s present 51 members, will not be able to seek a new term because of the term limits law. He is expected to seek the Republican nomination for mayor in the 2001 election.
As Gallagher announced his planned candidacy for the seat covering Ridgewood, Glendale and Middle Village, he received endorsements from Ognibene, state Senator Serphin Maltese, the Queens Republican chairman, and Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio, a Democrat who has had Conservative Party support in his election races.
Gallagher’s announcement came at his first fundraiser several weeks ago which was hosted by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Maltese and Ognibene, as well as other Republican public officials and party members who praised Gallagher for his leadership and experience in Council affairs.
Ognibene, who has held the seat for more than two terms, paid tribute to Gallagher for his work as Chief of Staff and also in community matters.
"He is familiar with all the needs of our communities and has a complete knowledge of the operations of the City Council and of the government of the City of New York. Not only is he deeply committed to carrying on the work of Mayor Giuliani and myself for the benefit of our community, but he is clearly the person most qualified to do so. I can’t think of a more capable person to serve the residents of the 30th Council District."
Maltese, under whom Gallagher worked as executive assistant, described Gallagher as "a true friend and asset to our community."
Maltese said he and Gallagher had worked together "for over 15 years to make our neighborhoods a better and safer place. I cannot think of a worthier successor to Tom Ognibene and the City Council.. I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically endorse him for election to the 30th Council District."
Seminerio endorsed Gallagher as an "effective" community leader.
In entering the race, Gallagher positioned himself as the experienced candidate, saying his service with Ognibene had prepared him to succeed Ognibene.
"I know how the Council works and operates," he stated. He said that, although the new members coming into the Council in January 2002 would be "infamiliar" with the job and "their community may pay the price," he had "the experience, dedication and commitment to step right in and continue the work of Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Council Member Thomas Ognibene."
Gallagher has established the Gallagher Victory Committee at P.O. Box 790187 and (718) 326-7883.