Ariola Leaves Stabile’s Staff
Joann Ariola resigned as Councilman Al Stabile’s chief of staff on Friday, May 14. She was immediately replaced by Alex Lutz, formerly of the Queens Forum, a Howard Beach newspaper.
Though leaving Stabile with whom she has worked for six years, Ariola said she has no intentions of leaving politics. She currently holds the position of Republican District Leader and told The Wave that she in very much interested in running for Stabile’s City Council seat when term limits force him out in two years. She said she will remain an active supporter of the community.
Although rumors suggested Ariola’s parting was anything but friendly, she said she expects Stabile to support her candidacy for city council and that she will (in her capacity as District Leader) support Stabile as he vies for the job of Queensborough President.
Some political watchers see her move as an attempt to distance herself from Stabile who faces an uphill battle in his quest for the Queens Beep job.
Stabile, in a call to The Wave, said her exit "is a sad loss for me." When asked if he would support Ariola for a city council run---even if family friend and fundraiser George Russo ran for the same seat---Stabile said Ariola "would get my 100 percent support."