Two political rivals in one political place
Mar 27, 2012 | 2492 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There were a lot of notable names and faces who showed up for Councilman Dan Halloran's announcement in Flushing's Bowne Park Monday evening that he would be running for the 6th Congressional District, which stretches from Bayside and Flushing through Forest Hills and Rego Park all the way to Glendale and Maspeth, from essentially the Queens/Nassau border all the way to the Queens/Brooklyn border, a pretty big cross section of the borough.

There was the impeccably coifed former Long Island congressman Rick Lazio, who paid testament to Halloran's bulldog character, as well as former state senator Frank Padavan, who after some recent health issues was looking spry and energetic during his introduction of Halloran,

Padavan even made a joke about the councilman being the only candidate to bring two horses to his or her campaign announcement, referring to Halloran's two enormous dogs which, yes, he did bring along for the party.

There was also Mike Long, head of the Conservative Party, which has endorsed Halloran. Also present was Mike Abel, who years ago used to represent the same district as Halloran in the City Council. They were all surrounded by about 100 supporters and members of the press.

And then there were two people who probably try not to spend too much time together.

The ongoing power struggle within the Queens Republican Party between current chair Phil Ragusa and his supporters and a rival faction have been well documented. That rival faction is led in part by Councilman Eric Ulrich, and both Ulrich and Ragusa were at Bowne Park to support Halloran.

The two stood on separate sides in the group of supporters for Halloran, and for good reason. Ulrich has been highly critical of Ragusa, both publicly and in the press, so their relationship has to be icy at best.

As an example, when the Queens County GOP endorsed George Maragos, the current Nassau County comptroller and a Republican candidate for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's seat, Ulrich took to Twitter to post the message above.

(Incidentally, in case you were wondering, yes, George Maragos was at Halloran's announcement on Monday, too. And Maragos stopped by our offices last week for a chat with folks on the upper floors in the corner offices that make the really important decisions, but we're sure they'll tell you more about that in the future.)

We're sure these type of things happen in politics all the time, and that bitter rivals often find themselves in the same room or at the same civic association dinner and have to play nice. It's all part of the business of politics.

And speaking of political rivalries, did Halloran fan the flames just a bit on one such rivalry that might be brewing in South Queens? In his introduction of Ulrich, Halloran jokingly referred to Ulrich as "the next state senator" before pretending to catch his gaffe.

Halloran was referring to rumors that Ulrich is considering challenging State Senator Joseph Addabbo for his senate seat in the next election. Ulrich took it all in stride.

"This is your announcement, Dan, not mine."

Not yet, anyway.
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