Once-mighty Queens GOP
Sep 11, 2019 | 6345 views | 0 0 comments | 631 631 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor,

There was a time decades ago when the Queens County Republican Party was alive and well.

The late Richmond Hill Republican Club leader Wilfred Dalton was a major force in politics. Any serious city, state or federal GOP candidate would stop by his clubhouse seeking support.

Former Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan all spoke there.

Up until the 1980s, Queens Republicans routinely qualified candidates for all congressional, State Senate, Assembly and City Council seats.

The old Richmond Hill GOP club was part of a vital Queens County Republican organization that would offer Democrats serious competition.

Despite a four-to-one Democrat to Republican enrollment, Sheldon Farber won a special election in March 1977. He joined Martin Knorr and Frank Padavan for a record three Queens GOP State Senators.

After the 1982 reapportionment, Democrats eliminated the districts of Queens GOP Assembly members Rosemary Gunning, John LoPresto, John Flack, Al DelliBovi and John Esposito.

Padavan and Knorr voted for this reapportionment plan as it continued to protect their own gerrymandered districts.

By the 1990s, Queens with no GOP Assembly members. Republican senator Serf Maltese lost in 2008, followed by Padavan.s downfall in 2010, leaving Queens with no GOP representation in Albany.

In 2011, Bob Turner won a congressional special election to replace Democrat Anthony Weiner, but his district was soon gerrymandered out of existence.

During the 1990s, Queens had three Republican City Council members in Tom Ognibene, Mike Abel and Alfonse Stabile. Today, the last GOP public official from Queens is Councilman Eric Ulrich.

Voters continue to have to look elsewhere for alternatives to the Queens County Democratic Party.


Larry Penner

Great Neck

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