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Queens Republican leaders have admiration for Palin

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There seems to be a new political equation developing based on the addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the Republican Party national ticket. It has seemed to energize the GOP in terms of increasing its chances of winning the presidency and vice presidency and improving its chances at the local level.

Here in Queens, a spirit of optimism has taken hold since the Palin nomination, beginning with Republican Party County Chairman Phil Ragusa, an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

He indicated he had never seen such enthusiasm by the party faithful, as was demonstrated at the convention during Palin's vice presidential acceptance speech. Ragusa believes the ticket is "down to earth" and has experience. He thinks their people will work hard for the McCain-Palin ticket.

"It is possible that New York is in play for the election and the national ticket should provide a big help for Queens local races," he said.

Ragusa also believes the Palin candidacy will enlarge the Republican base of support.

Phil Sica, the 24th State Assembly District Republican leader and Queens Village Republican Club president, also spoke highly of Palin.

"People are impressed that she has executive experience, being a former mayor and at present a governor. She sends a message of youthfulness to counter the youthfulness of the Democratic presidential candidate," he said, referring to U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

"She will help the ticket in New York state and especially be of help in getting votes in Queens County," he added.

Dolores Maddis, the Rego Hills Republican Club president, voiced her opinion of the Palin candidacy: "I see Sarah as vice president with her leadership, vision and experience, unafraid to meet the challenges before her. [U.S. Sen. John] McCain [R-Ariz.] chose his running mate with wisdom, as history will soon prove."

Janet Malone, the Northeast Queens Republican Club president, said: "Sarah is fabulous, such command and such a regular person that the American women can relate to."

Malone indicated she is getting great feedback from potential voters regarding the Palin candidacy.

Joan Vogt of College Point, who has been active with the Republican Party for over 50 years and is presently the party's 27th State Assembly District leader, said: "I thought McCain would pick a woman as his running mate."

She thinks this will bring new blood to the Republican national leadership.

Barbara Tabita, an NQRC board of governors member, was enthusiastic about Palin. She mentioned that friends of hers not active in politics have expressed favorable impressions of Palin. Tabita believes the national ticket is stronger.

Peter Boudouvas, an NQRC vice president who has run for public office, was asked about his impressions of Palin.

"Palin is a fresh face with a fighting spirit that will shake up the establishment in Washington," he said.

He also indicated that the Palin candidacy will help all Queens Republican candidates and show that the Republican Party has a new direction.

After the primaries and interparty struggles, it seems the presidential campaigns are entering a new phase with the addition of Palin to the national ticket. If elected, she will be the first female vice president and will project a reform image. This candidacy is leading to an exciting national campaign.

Posted 6:38 pm, October 10, 2011
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