On one side you have a faction of south Queens Republicans who are trying to wrest control of the party. That faction includes Councilman Eric Ulrich, but according to a recent interview he did with NY1, he might be starting to wonder what he's even fighting for.
"Unfortunately, for a lot of reasons, the Republican Party is on the verge of extinction in Queens County," he said.
According to the NY1 piece, the Republican Party is only running two candidates this year in the borough.
"We're too busy fighting with each other instead of actually doing the party-building that should be done," Ulrich said.
Two candidates? That leaves us to guess which four candidates are under the misguided impression they are actually running for office.
The Queens County GOP recently held a get-together to discuss ways to build the party and support the six GOP candidates running this election season.
They include Grant Lally in the 3rd Congressional District; Jose Luis Fernandez in the 7th Congressional District; Nick Di Iorio in the 12th Congressional District; Michael Conigliaro in the 15th Senatorial District; John Kevin Wilson in the 37th Assembly District; and Philip Gim in the 40th Assembly District.
The event was also a chance to create closer ties between a group of Rockaway Republicans and the current leadership of the Queens County GOP, which has a reputation for being centered in northeast Queens.
“I am happy to be part of the Queens County Republicans,” said Margaret Wagner, former president of the Rockaway Republican Club. “I feel this is the time for new beginnings, new friendships and a time for Republicans to come together for a common cause.”
So which is it, the party is on the verge of extinction or it's moving in a positive direction? We're confused.
It will become clearer when the party has to reorganize next September. Robert Beltrani has been serving as chairman since the recent passing of longtime party leader Phil Ragusa.
The party is also still trying to recover from the arrest of its number two in command, Vince Tabone, in connection with the bribery scheme that snared Councilman Dan Halloran and State Senator Malcolm Smith.
Expect a lot of jockeying for leadership when the party undergoes reorganization. Beltrani, though, isn't too worried about Ulrich's assessment.
“As Mark Twain once stated, the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” he told the crowd of party faithful at the recent gathering. “I’ve attended many of these events and each time more people attend, new relationships are formed, creative ideas shared and the renewed energy is invigorating.”
Maybe Ulrich didn't get the invitation.