On The Beach
With Beverly Baxter
Ulrich To O’Hare ‘Your Serve!’
Although they needed all the king’s horses and all the King’s men, in the end, they managed to eek out a win again. However, this was hardly a win to be proud of. It was more of a lesson and we hope it was learned well.
The Republican District Leaders, Terry Ariola and Ed O’Hare retained their positions in what was an historic race in the 23rd. A.D.; but they did so by very slim margins and without the Rockaway vote.
They won by an “O’Hare”! In fact, it was a resounding sweep for Eric Ulrich and Rosemary Duffy, who overwhelmingly won every single E.D. throughout the Peninsula. From Breezy Point to the East end, Rockaway came out and pulled the levers for Ulrich and Duffy; and although they also won Ozone Park, it was not enough to cause an upset and take the district. The final results were 43% for Ulrich and Duffy to our opposition’s 57%.
Although we did not succeed in this race, The Rockaway Republicans have much to be proud of. “We bucked the status quo, mounted a campaign for candidates of our own choosing; and with little resources, we did amazingly well. Rockaway, as well as Ulrich and Duffy, has proven that we are a force to be reckoned with. They won, but they didn’t win it with the Rockaway vote,” stated George Greco, Chairman of The Rockaway Republicans.
For the Rockaway Republicans, this race was about healthy competition and the force of good that comes out of that process. We forced the current leaders to come down from their throne of entitlement and work for their positions.
We made them fight to earn it.
It is our hope that they have learned just how disposable they are and that they don’t resume an attitude of apathy. Moving forward, there’s much work to be done.
“I called Ed and conceded the race. I congratulated him, but also reminded him that there’s a lot of work ahead. Although he and Terry can claim victory, it was a very close race and I am proud of the fact that we did as well as we did. If I were Ed, I wouldn’t take this win for granted. I was clearly the underdog, ‘the kid’ as I was mockingly referred to; and I had neither the might of the Mayor’s money nor the resources of a well-financed organization, yet I was still able to garner 43% of the vote.
They had the Mayor’s taped voice making phone calls on their behalf right up to the very last minute. They had the Mayor’s army of paid petition carriers and about 100 paid Poll Inspectors who had to vote for them out of fear of losing their jobs; yet with all of these advantages, they only claimed 57%.
Indeed they won, but after eight years in their positions, they should have done much better,” explained Ulrich. “When you look at the numbers and take into consideration that they had the votes of their 100 Poll Inspectors going into the race, they only won by 16 votes!”
Clearly for Eric Ulrich, there are many advantages. At merely 21, he has a bright political future. He will be around the political table for a long time. This was a practice run and he can only grow in his potential. In many respects, his first run was a jog toward bigger races ahead. “I will be around for a long time and I vow to hold their feet to the fire. The ball is in their court. My challenge to the leadership is the same. They have to act. I challenge them here and now to provide the Rockaway Republican Club with a Charter. They could easily do this in a week, but I give them 90 days. I also challenge them to provide by January 1st a viable Republican candidate for the State Assembly seat, which is up next year. My message is the same. We need to promote Republican candidates and a Republican identity in the district.” Eric thanks his running mate, Rosemary Duffy, who did remarkably well as a first time novice in the process; as well as The Rockaway Republicans who managed to elect 27 local residents to the County Committee who will fairly represent our interests. “I personally wish to thank all of you who voted in the 56th E.D. to elect me to the committee. Together, we demonstrated that passion and hard work can over-ride complacency,” said Ulrich. We can only build from here. Let the momentum continue and join us at our next meeting at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club on Monday September 26 at 7:30 pm. We hope to see you there.