Even though the city has been run by Republican mayors for the last 20 years, the party has not gained in numbers or influence.
Rudy Giuliani was a tough U.S. attorney who ran on the promise to take back the streets of the city.
To a large extent he accomplished that goal. Times Square, overrun by pimps, drug dealers and violent gangs, has recaptured its glory as a wonderful and safe place for tourists.
In fact, New York didn’t even make it to Business Insider’s latest list of the 25 most dangerous cities in America.
Giuliani endorsed Republican Michael Bloomberg while crews were still sifting through the ashes of the World Trade Center. He has led the city for the last 11 years. Bloomberg is an ex-Democrat who ran on the Republican and independent lines.
But, as The New York Times noted, most New Yorkers aren’t certain what Bloomberg’s party affiliation is.
Despite Giuliani and Bloomberg, the number of Republicans has not grown citywide.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, warned the GOP to pick battles carefully: “We can’t get rattled. We won’t play the villain in his [President Barack Obama’s] morality plays. We have to stay united.”
But we can’t imagine that the influence of the Republican Party will grow in Queens. There are still large numbers of Republicans in Middle Village and other parts of Queens, but their influence is declining with the growth of Asian and Latino Democrats.
Although Queens has elected a few Republicans, in most citywide and congressional races, Queens makes more of an effort. The GOP only puts up a nominal candidate, if anyone at all.
This allows Democratic Party leaders to sidestep the democratic process and anoint candidates.
Recently, one reader called on “moderate Republicans” to “take the party back.”
But that train has left the station. The Tea Party has become the loudest voice in the GOP, but it can’t forget about black and Hispanic voters.
We’d like to see a vigorous two-party political system in Queens. Voters need a clear choice when they go to the polls. But without strong membership, the GOP will remain on the fringe of Queens and city politics.