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Jan 19 2012

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Koo To Defect From GOP

Crowley sent a chopper to pick me up, Ragusa sent a Ford. What did you think I was going to do?

Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing) announced he will be switching parties, according to the New York Times.

It’s not as shocking as one might think.

In a heavily Democratic district, one can only wonder what was offered to him behind the scenes. Who courted Mr. Koo, a millionaire pharmacist from Flushing?

In 2009, Koo ran against Yen Chou, a Democrat who owns a daycare facility. The primary was vicious, and Koo emerged the victor after the Dems tore each other apart. Many insiders considered it a fluke.

The switch could have been totally unexpected, and the Queens County GOP may not have known it was coming. But it still hasn’t officially happened yet.

Food for thought:

Rumors of a gerrymandered ‘Asian Majority’ district for a Senate seat could have motivated him.  Is it a numbers game? Is Mr. Koo questioning the worth of being a Republican? The area is heavily Democratic and Koo could have feared a well-funded and supported Democratic challenger for Council or for the Senate seat, should he decide to run.

Koo, long considered a centrist has taken many positions favorable to Democratic kingpins like Christine Quinn that could ease the transition.

Is he angry with the local GOP party for a lack of support and constant infighting?

Keep in mind Koo is a millionaire and can self-finance his own run.  After all he was originally registered as a Democrat. Just speculating, if Mark Weprin becomes speaker, Koo could be Finance chair, that’s if he’s a Democrat. If he’s a Republican, then he might be on the lowly housing committee (Republicans cannot chair committees).

Being a successful small businessman might help Koo ease through the transition.

What do you think?

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FYI, during Mr. Koo’s run for City Council in 2009, Dennis Gallagher  worked on his campaign setting up stanchions that were emblazoned with ‘property of Mike Riccatto’ in downtown Flushing.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/01/koo-to-defect-from-gop/


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