By Sarina Trangle

Chivalry appears to be coming back in style in the borough’s Grand Old Party.

At the request of the Queens Village Republican Club, Bart Haggerty outlined the process of seeking positions within the Queens County Republican Party and abstained from delving into partisan issues despite a stray question or two on the party’s internal feuds. He ignored a comment from one of the few dozen club members at the event that primary challenges were only sapping the party’s base and finances.

The Queens GOP has long been fractured, with a western faction led City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), political operatives and brothers Bart and John Haggerty and former City Councilman Thomas Ognibene and an eastern faction lining up behind the late Chairman Phil Ragusa, Robert Hornak and Robert Beltrani.

The most recent feud was fueled by a 2013 organizational meeting, where Ragusa’s camp claimed he won re-election as chairman, but former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner’s supporters argued the vote was held with insufficient notice and riddled with procedural issues.

After the lecture, Bart Haggerty, refrained from saying much about the western Queens faction’s plans. He repeatedly said he believed Turner was the only viable chairman when the county party votes on its structure next fall, but little else.

“A lot of the people who are supporting Bob Turner have a record of helping candidates and actually running successful campaigns,” said Haggerty, Ulrich’s former chief of staff and Queens’ deputy borough chief at the city Board of Elections. “He is the only potential unifier … Nobody else has ever been able to give another name.”

When asked if Turner’s supporters intended to sign up more people for county committee ahead of the vote, Haggerty said only, “I’ve always thought county committee was important.”

Similarly, the eastern Queens faction did not comment on whether the party planned to register and run additional county committee candidates to bolster their representation ahead of a chairman vote.

Hornak, spokesman for the Queens County GOP now run by the eastern camp, said he was not sure if Beltrani, who inherited the chairman position after Ragusa died, would pursue a second term.

“It’s too early to say what the future holds,” Hornak wrote in an e-mail. “It will be up to Chairman Beltrani as to whether he chooses to run for re-election, but if he does, I expect he will have the support he needs to serve for another term.”

The two sides have made a show of working towards a truce, with leaders saying Ulrich and supermarket magnet John Catsimatidis, who has contributed significant sums to the county organization, discussed the Queens GOP’s future.

Republican leaders previously were quick to announce that several GOP clubs from across the borough have sat down to strategize.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle by e-mail at stran‌gle@c‌ngloc‌al.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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