By Mark Hallum
Queens GOP endorsed one of their own for mayor on May 3.
Republican Paul Massey got the nod of approval from the Queens Country Republican Club in a statement claiming that Massey is the only person capable of defeating incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio in the municipal elections.
“Paul Massey is the only candidate who can beat Bill de Blasio in November, and I am pleased that the Executive Committee has joined me in endorsing him,” Queens County GOP Chairman Bob Turner said. “At a time when our city is dealing with failing schools, a growing homelessness problem, and a noticeable decline in quality of life, it is critical that we support a candidate for mayor who has a vision for this city, and an ability to execute that vision.”
Massey has familiarized himself with Queens residents active in the GOP in recent months as a speaker at the Queens Village Republican Club’s annual Lincoln Dinner in March. Prior to that, he discussed his platform at a meeting for the same organization, which touts its legacy as one of the oldest Republican clubs in the nation.
The GOP candidate is a former real estate executive from Boston who said he has worked with Turner, who served in Congress from 2011 to 2013 after Anthony Weiner stepped down from the Brooklyn district, which overlaps slightly into Queens.
“The congressman’s advice has been crucial as we have ramped up our campaign,” Massey said. “I am proud to have him and the Queens Republican Committee stand with me as we look to serve the hard-working men and women of Queens and each of the five boroughs.”
While Massey’s campaign seems to be gaining traction, Gristedes Foods CEO John Catsimatidis decided against challenging de Blasio as a Republican, claiming in a statement Tuesday it would be too difficult to defeat the standing mayor.
“I have often said that I have one more race left in me,” Catsimatidis said. “But after careful consideration – I talked to my wife, my daughter, my son – we have decided that the 2017 New York’s mayor races was not the one that I am going to be in. My decision was based in part on the fact that the power of the incumbency in the city of New York is extremely hard to defeat.”
Catsimatidis, who was defeated in the GOP primary for mayor in 2013, said he would continue to be an outspoken voice in the city for the issues he is passionate about.
Meanwhile, the Queens County GOP has endorsed Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) for re-election in his district. Ulrich, the only sitting Republican official in Queens, bowed out of the upcoming mayoral race in March after a long effort to gain support.
“I’m not going to be a candidate for mayor this year,” Ulrich said on NY1. “It’s something that I considered for quite sometime now, mulling it over these past few months with my family and my friends and my supporters, and I’ve decided that this would not be the right move for me to make. I believe the people of New York City deserve better than Bill de Blasio, but I will not be a candidate for mayor this year.”
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall