Queens Republicans To Offer More Challenges To Dems This Year
Ragusa said the newly announced candidates as well as the entire GOP ticket reflect his determination "to provide Queens voters, tired of politics as usual, a real choice both in the June special election for City Council as well as the November general elections".
The GOP organization endorsed the following candidates:
•Tom Dooley of Astoria in the 12th Senate District, to oppose Senator George Onorato.
•Gerard Sullivan to oppose Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer in the 23rd Assembly District, covering the Ozone Park/Rockaway area.
•Tony Nunziato of Maspeth in the 30th Assembly District to run against Assemblymember Margaret Markey.
•Rob Speranza, a Community Board 11 member, to challenge Assemblymember Ann Margaret Carrozza in the 26th Assembly District.
Anchoring the ticket, of course, will be U.S. Senator John McCain running for president of the United States, and veteran GOP state Senators Frank Padavan and Serphin Maltese, running for re-election.
Previously, the Queens Republicans had endorsed Peter Koo of Flushing, owner of a chain of pharmacies, to oppose state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky for the 16th Senate District seat.
Dooley is a decorated Marine Corps veteran and retired New York City firefighter who served at Ground Zero on 9/11. His wife, Zoraida, has been involved in local school activities and ran for membership of School Board 30.
Ragusa said GOP leaders in neighboring Woodside, Sunnyside and Maspeth have promised strong support. "Dooley has a laudable record of service that McCain voters are sure to appreciate," he added.
In the 26th Assembly District, which has been represented at times in the past by a Republican, Speranza, a Bayside resident, is a retired New York City police officer. Ragusa said he also is an energetic civic activist.
Another incumbent endorsed by Ragusa and the Republicans was longtime Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio of Richmond Hill/Ozone Park, a Democrat who has also long enjoyed official endorsements from Republicans and Conservatives.
Ragusa also noted that Seminerio has been named Chairman of Democrats for Maltese in the 38th Assembly District, Seminerio's home district.
Needless to say, the Republican challengers will face a tough assignment, going up against the powerful Democratic organization, headed by Congressmember Joseph Crowley. It should be even more interesting with the presidential election topping the ballot.
ADD ANOTHER CANDIDATE: The field of candidates who have announced plans to run in the special election for Councilmember Dennis Gallagher's seat has increased by one- Joseph A. Suraci, a former president of the United Republicans of Western Queens.
Suraci, a Middle Village resident for more than 20 years, once served as president of that area's Republican Club. In announcing his candidacy, the longtime attorney stated the area is being destroyed by overdevelopment. "Zoning was never put into effect to stop this neighborhood destruction," he declared.
Already seeking the Gallagher post are former City Councilmember Thomas Ognibene and Anthony Como, both of Middle Village; Elizabeth Crowley of Glendale and Charles Ober of Ridgewood.
Gallagher, who has held the seat since 2002, announced his resignation as part of a plea deal he entered with the Queens district attorney's office following his arrest on sexual assault charges.
Suraci, now in private practice in Kew Gardens, previously worked for the Legal Aid Society, as a New York City administrative law judge, and as an adjunct professor of world politics at Dowling College on Long Island.
Beside his political activities, he was a member of and legal counsel to the Middle Village Property Owners and Residents Association.