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Ragusa target of unfair criticism

As former Queens elected officials, we have had the opportunity to work closely with Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa. We have known Ragusa for more than 30 years, and in our experience he is one of the most honest, diligent, decent and forthright people we have had the pleasure to be associated with in our many years in public service.

Ragusa has led this Queens organization for the last seven years and has been an exceptional leader. We admire how he has shown great vision in growing the Queens Republican Party, recruiting a new group of active and dedicated members to lead our party into the future and attracting talented and qualified candidates to run for office.

It is shocking when someone in the political arena betrays the public trust and accused of corrupt activities. It is more disturbing when those accused are individuals we have known for years. What is even more unfortunate and disappointing is when political opportunists use such circumstances to advance their own narrow agendas and personal aspirations for power.

The recent scandal involving two Queens Republicans is allegedly of their own making, and now they must face the consequences. No one should be so cynical as to make baseless charges as to the integrity and forthrightness of Ragusa, or to attempt to use this scandal to tarnish his name and reputation. No one should be accused of guilt by association.

We realize that there are some who have been trying to replace = Ragusa almost from the minute he was elected chairman. We are appalled at their crass attempt to twist these unfortunate events into a tool to use to undermine Ragusa’s authority and to serve their own purposes and longstanding agenda.

If these people had more experience and maturity and a basic sense of decency, they might instead use this as an opportunity to bring people together and to rally the Queens Republican Party behind their leader and their fellow Republican candidates instead of heading down a path that can only result in damaging the Republican Party and further erode the public’s trust in their Republican elected officials, party leaders and candidates.

We continue to give our support to Ragusa as chairman of the Queens Republican Party and stand to defend him against these transparent attacks from longstanding and predictable foes.

Serphin Maltese

Former State Senator

Ridgewood

Frank Padavan

Former State Senator

Bellerose

Michael Abel

Former City Councilman

Whitestone

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