By Juan Soto
Before some of the Republican candidates for statewide and local office reached the Queens Village Republican Club Tuesday, the audience was warming up for the rally.
“Hey, hey, ho, ho — Andrew Cuomo’s got to go,” they chanted, as well as, “2-4-6-8. We are gonna save the Empire State.”
The crowd was enthusiastic.
“This is not a regular meeting,” said Philip Orenstein, president of the club, at 263-15 Union Turnpike. “This is a rally, folks.”
About 100 people participated in the rally at the oldest Republican club in the United States, funded in 1875, to meet Republican and Conservative candidates Chris Moss for lieutenant governor, John Cahill for state attorney general, Bob Antonacci for state comptroller, Grant Lally for Congress and Maureen Koetz for state Assembly.
There was also support during the event for the New York Police Department, “America’s greatest police force.”
Moss, the Chemung County, N.Y. sheriff, was introduced by former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner, who was hailed as a hero after winning the seat in 2011 in a predominately Democratic area covering Queens and Brooklyn. Turner told the crowd how everyone thought he was going to lose the battle to take Democrat Anthony Weiner’s seat after his resignation.
“We did it before, and we can do it again,” said Turner to the cheering audience.
The Republican candidates said that to win on Election Day, Nov. 4, “we must go to places that we usually don’t go to,” said Moss, gubernatorial hopeful Bob Astorino’s running mate. “Bob [Astorino] and I are going everywhere, and we are winning some people over.”
He asked the audience if New York state was “winning or losing the battle.” He answered for them: “We are losing the battle. Over the last four years, we lost 400,000 jobs, people are leaving the state, and taxes are bad.”
Cahill, who wants to replace Democrat Eric Schneiderman, said the attorney general “has been silent in all important issues.”
He criticized the “chief law enforcement officer of the state” for not standing up for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to close charter schools, “for the corruption in Albany” and for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to close the Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption panel that was created by Cuomo in 2013.
“Where was the attorney general?” Cahill asked. “Silent Eric Schneiderman,” answered the crowd.
He told his supporters to “go out and call 10 friends to vote, and those 10 friends to call 10 friends. This is how we are going to win.”
For the candidates, New York state needs to cut taxes, create jobs, fight corruption in Albany and reduce spending.
“This race is not about Democrats or Republicans,” Cahill said. “This race is about being a New Yorker.”
Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.