Queens GOP Chairwoman Joann Ariola announces bid for borough president

Courtesy of Joann Ariola

Chairwoman of the Queens County Republican Party Joann Ariola has announced she is running for Queens borough president in November’s general election.

The Howard Beach resident will take the mantle from retired prosecutor Jim Quinn, who ran with the GOP’s support during the non-partisan special election for Queens borough president, which was canceled when Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on April 24.

“Jim Quinn set a really solid platform during the special election race. A lot of his platform was law and order and bringing common sense back,” Ariola said. “I’m going to continue that platform moving forward.”

Quinn declined to run on the Republican party’s ticket in November’s race and when the GOP’s Committee to Fill Vacancies nominated and approached Ariola about a bid for borough president of her own, she said she “happily accepted.”

In addition to her law and order platform, Ariola said she’s focused on fighting for Queens’ fair share, a sentiment echoed by former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who ran for borough president during the special election and will likely appear on the ballot for the seat in June’s Democratic primary.

Ariola also spoke to issues important to conservative neighborhoods in Queens, including Ridgewood, Maspeth and Middle Village.

“Elected officials need to listen to the community when they’re saying they don’t want neighborhood prisons and they don’t want neighborhood homeless shelters,” Ariola said. “There has to be a better solution, like affordable housing for the homeless.”

Ariola, who is running unopposed on the Republican and conservative line, also took aim at the city and state’s current leadership, which she believes has hurt Queens in particular during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

“The city government has failed the people of the city, but especially the people of this borough,” Ariola said.

For this, she believes, there is no better time for a Republican to run and to be elected not just in the borough president’s race, but in races for City Council, State Assembly and Congress.

“I don’t think there’s been a better time for Republicans to be elected because people are extremely disappointed in how the Democrats have really caused this state and, this borough in particular, to decline,” Ariola said.

In addition to Quinn and Crowley, Councilmen Donovan Richards, Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides, retired NYPD Sergeant Anthony Miranda, and businessman Dao Yin all ran for borough president in the special election, which was originally slated for March 24 before the outbreak of the coronavirus in New York.

Barring Quinn and Ariola, it remains unclear which of the candidates will appear on the ballot for Queens borough president during June’s Democratic primary election.

This is not Ariola’s first political campaign. She ran for State Assembly in 1996 and for City Council in 2001.