The Queens GOP interviewed four candidates seeking the party’s line on the ballot in the November election to replace City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside), who promised not to seek a third term and is campaigning for mayor.
The Whitestone−based 26th AD Republican Committee, headed by Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa, said it interviewed Bayside activist Tim Furey, Northeast Queens Republican Club member Joe Gravagna, Auburndale lawyer Dan Halloran and Community Board 7 Vice Chairman Frank Macchio.
“I could not be happier with the quality of candidates we interviewed,” Ragusa said in a statement Saturday. “We expect great things this fall.”
Avella was first elected in 1999 and easily won his second term in 2003. He launched his longshot bid for mayor last year and was a strong opponent of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial decision to overturn the term limits law.
Ragusa said the committee did not interview former Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece, Debra Markell, Bayside resident and attorney Paul Vallone or any other candidates planning to run as Democrats.
The Queens GOP chairman said a decision on who the party will endorse is expected to be made “within the next week or so.”
— Howard Koplowitz
©2009 Community News Group
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