The county party, led by former congressman Bob Turner, officially announced its support for mayoral candidate Paul Massey back in the beginning of May. However, almost immediately there was discontent among the rank-and-file members with the decision.
Many thought the endorsement came too soon and without the proper vetting of all the candidates, as many in the Queens County Republican Party were actually starting to be won over by Nicole Malliotakis, who was elected to the Assembly in 2010 to represent parts of south Brooklyn and Staten Island.
They were impressed by the fact that she defeated a two-term incumbent with 55 percent of the vote the first time she ran, a notable feat in a state and city where incumbents always have a significant edge, proving that she knows how to run a successful campaign.
But the discontent was all just gossip and conjecture and whispers. Until Saturday, that is.
A number of notable Republicans in Queens officially announced their support for Malliotakis outside the 105th Precinct in Queens Village over the weekend. They included City Council candidates Joseph Concannon and Marvin Jeffcoat, who are running against councilmen Barry Grodenchik and Jimmy Van Bramer, respectively.
Malliotakis also got the support of Phil Orenstein, Marie Lynch and Mike O'Reilly.
While they were quick to point out that their endorsement does not necessarily reflect the views of the membership of their respective clubs, it's worth noting that Jeffcoat is the president of the Sunnyside Republican Club, Orenstein is president of the Queens Village Republican Club, Lynch heads up the Frank Kenna Republican Club, and O'Reilly is president of the Rockaway Republican Club.
On a side note, O'Reilly doesn't have much incentive to stay loyal to county leadership. Many believe he was to be the party's choice to run as public advocate this year, only to learn that the party was going to pull its support at the last minute.
But back to Malliotakis, it's a terrible look for the party to have some of its most prominent members buck leadership and endorse another candidate. This after the party's most recognizable face – Councilman Eric Ulrich – was touting Bo Dietl and showing him around his south Queens district even as the party was supporting Massey.
It's part of a growing dissatisfaction with the party leadership and its inability to put up strong candidates in a borough that has shown a willingness to elect Republicans in the past.
Case in point is the race in District 30 for the City Council. Until Elizabeth Crowley was elected, the district was always represented by a Republican, but the Queens GOP has yet to put up a candidate in a district that is technically winnable.
The Republican Party used to be a player in Queens politics in a city that leans heavily Democratic, but if the party can't put up candidates outside the ones who can manage to go it alone, its relevance is going to continue to wane.