Lots at stake in Party politics.
Far flung from the powerful world of council members and other higher elects, the low-level state committee members are unpaid, volunteer party positions elected for a two-year term to the New York State Republican Committee or their Democratic counterparts, but despite their low-level on the totem pole, it hasn’t stopped a frenzy of challenges evident in the latest record of objections released by the Board.
Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa is facing a challenge to the state committee spot in the 26th Assembly District (also the location of the official Party HQ) by his opponent, Salvatore Bacarella, a member of the North East Queens Republican Club. Meanwhile, Bart Haggerty, once named an unindicted co-conspirator in a case involving bribery, and brother to convicted felon John Haggerty, is challenging the likes of Juan Reyes (as well as his wife), who ran a County-backed primary against Bart Haggerty’s longtime friend and ally, Councilman Eric Ulrich for State Committee. Haggerty himself is also running for reelection.
Marie Lynch, as well as Rolaine Antoine, and Catherine James – all recently let go from their positions at the Board of Elections, are also facing multiple challenges to their elected positions. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Examining the objectors, some trends emerge. Often the result of a political maneuver, these party positions are highly coveted as evident by the veracity to which they are being challenged, particularly in comparison to their democratic counterparts.
While the objector can be any registered voter, it’s usually a strategic decision made by higher-ups who will take the next step once specs need to be filed.