2007-07-20 / Community

Queens GOP Chair Endorses Deacy And Ulrich

District Leadership Race Rocks The Boat

Jane Deacy and Eric Ulrich, candidates for the Republican District Leadership in the 23rd AD, picked up the endorsement of the Queens County Republican Party Chairman on July 10.

In his endorsement letter, Chairman Phil Ragusa praised Deacy and Ulrich for their dedication and commitment to the Republican Party.

"It's my pleasure to personally endorse Eric and Jane for the important posts of Republican State Committeeman and State Committeewoman," Ragusa said. "They have the right combination of experience, vision and energy to lead all the Republicans of this district, from Ozone Park to the Rockaways."

The leadership of the 23rd AD was previously contested in 2005, when the Ulrich ticket surprised observers by coming close to unseating the heavily favored and well-funded incumbents, Terry Ariola of Howard Beach and Ed O'Hare of Broad Channel.

This time out, political watchers say, Ulrich and Breezy Point's Deacy have shaken things up, and Ariola and O'Hare declined to defend their seats and stepped aside in favor of two Howard Beach residents., a move that was totally unexpected in political circles.

In 2005, Ariola managed to hold on to her position by 99 votes, the narrowest win for a leadership position in the history of the 23rd AD. Many old-line Republicans were surprised at the outcome, certain that incumbents seldom lose their seats, particularly to what they consider to be an upstart group, including the newly-minted Rockaway Republicans, under the leadership of local resident Tom Young.

This year's race pits the central part of the 23rd AD-Howard Beach- against both outer fringes: Ozone Park in the north, represented by Ulrich, and Rockaway in the south, represented by Deacy.

Newly-designated Queens County Chairman Ragusa broke with precedent to endorse the Ulrich-Deacy ticket.

If successful, the two challengers have committed themselves to finding and supporting local GOP candidates, a longtime demand of the Rockaway Republicans, in order to restore competitiveness in local political races.

Both Deacy and Ulrich welcomed Ragusa's endorsement. "I'm thankful for the party Chair's faith in Jane and me," Ulrich said. "His support sends a strong message to Republican voters in every corner of the district, that the Republican Party is ready to emerge from its long hibernation in our area at last."

Added Deacy, "This is a very important time for Queens Republicans, and we thank Mr. Ragusa for his trust. We won't let them down."

The September 18 primary, which includes the races for both Democratic and Republican district leaders is nine weeks away.

Political insiders are waiting to see the outcome.

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