Tensions flared yesterday afternoon as the Queens GOP called a meeting to elect leadership at the Reception House in Flushing.
Results were predictable. Contested Chairman Phil Ragusa won re-election with 417 votes to 174 against former Rep. Bob Turner, who was backed by Bart Haggerty and the Southern faction, and will maintain his leadership post within the Queens Republican Party, according to unofficial reports.
Republicans from both North and South Queens alliances were present at the meeting.
“The weighted vote was I think 10 points apart. Lots of proxies were disqualified so that should make for fun in court,” said a source familiar with the results.
The controversial meeting was set for 12:30PM on a Friday drawing the ire of many disenfranchised republicans who cried foul at the workday scheduled meeting claiming party officials with jobs would be unable to attend.
Events leading up to the reorganization meeting were also disputed in the press. Immediately preceding Friday’s meeting, south Queens loyalists, and supposed Party reformers, cried foul to the press over a last-minute decision to schedule the meeting not only on a workday but during a Jewish holiday.
“The source said some of the notices were mailed out during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot and Jewish GOP committee members did not receive the notices and will not be able to make the meeting. Others, the source said, will not able to take off from work on short notice”, according to an article published Thursday evening in the Queens Chronicle.
Earlier this month, newly re-elected Chairman Ragusa also won his re-election as District Leader against local businessman Sal Bacarella in a highly watched race. Both victories appear to reaffirm Ragusa’s control over the party.
Will this put an end to the thirty year hostilities between northern and southern Queens Republicans? Only time will tell.
As more details emerge, check back with Queens-Politics for the latest updates.