Candidate speaks to GOP club in Howard Beach

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In an election year with two women running for statewide offices on the Republican ticket, GOP women in Queens said Saturday they were ready to help make history.

At the Women’s Republican Club of Queens’ 29th annual officers installation luncheon in Howard Beach Saturday afternoon, some 100 women and supporters of the group gathered to hear keynote speaker Dora Irizarry, former state judge from the Bronx who stepped down to run for office.

Irizarry is the first woman and first Hispanic to run for state attorney general, and along with incumbent Mary Donohue, who is running for lieutenant governor, she is one of only two women on the Republican line in this fall’s elections.

Longtime member and chairwoman of the group’s board of directors, Jamaica resident Katherine James said the Women’s Republican Club of Queens has been doing well.

“We have grown in membership and are including more communities in Queens,” James said. “We’re coming together to celebrate the growth of women in our party.”

James said the expansion of the club membership has brought in a diverse group of women.

“It’s really cool that we have such a good intergenerational mix,” she said.

Reflective of James’ comment, the club installed its new officers at Saturday’s luncheon at Roma View Caterers on Cross Bay Boulevard, a group which included resident Lauren Cacioppo, one of the group’s younger members.

“We continue to do outreach and incorporate women from all over Queens,” said Cacioppo, who along with the group’s other officers was installed by state Sen. Serphin Maltese (R-Middle Village). “I’m really excited.”

Irizarry, who is running against incumbent state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, said she was pleased to be speaking to such a group.

“These women are really role models,” she said before taking the podium to give her speech. “It’s important for me to come out here to acknowledge the work they have done and emphasize that there is more work that has to be done.”

City Councilman Dennis Gallagher (R-Middle Village) said the Women’s Republican Club and groups similar to them were the backbone of the party.

“I have the title of councilman because of the work they did,” said Gallagher, who was elected last November. “The Women’s Republican Club is one of the strongest organizations in the state.”

The program was delayed by about 45 minutes when one of the members had a medical emergency and emergency services personnel had to be called. She was revived and taken to the hospital as a precautionary move.

In addition to Cacioppo members Rosemarie Iacovone, Lily Benestate, Angela Corredor, Dorothy Brown, Marie Lynch and Olga Finneran were installed as club officers.

Joining James on the group’s board of directors were members Mary Leider, Doris Eichhorn, Arlene Fiumano, Constance Allocca, Elaine McGuire and Iola Earl.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

Posted 7:24 pm, October 10, 2011
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