Read the story of district 30 special election council candidate Joseph Suraci, "a Queens Republican shut out by his own party"...
The Man Who Couldn't Be Judge
When a rare vacancy arose this year (2003) for a Civil Court judgeship representing a mostly middle-class, conservative swath of Queens, Suraci, a 52-year-old attorney, figured that if he could get on the ballot he had a shot. His résumé already read like a Queens jurist: Raised in Sunnyside, he attended Archbishop Molloy High School, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Manhattan College, and received his law degree from St. John's. He spent 20 years as a trial lawyer for Legal Aid defending low-income people in Queens criminal courts, where he had achieved a reputation among county prosecutors as a formidable opponent. He then moved on to private practice, handling disability cases and also serving as an administrative law judge adjudicating disputes at the city's parking violations bureau.
He was active in his community as well, serving as secretary of the Friends of Middle Village Library, vice president of Woodside Senior Assistance Center, and pro bono legal counsel to the Middle Village Property Owners Association. He helped found several nonprofit organizations including the Sunnyside Drum Corps and the Gateway Community Restoration Corp. The son of a former Republican district leader, Suraci had also paid his political dues, carrying his party's banner four times, coming closest to winning in 1993, when he was a candidate for the Supreme Court on the Republican and Conservative lines. The New York Times called him "clearly the best choice" in the race and he took in nearly 165,000 votes—just a handful shy of his Democratic-Liberal opponent, Luther Dye (recently forced off the bench for inappropriate courtroom behavior).
Despite his many partisan campaigns, Suraci, who appears thoughtful and self-effacing in person, has picked up admirers in the opposing party. "If there were more people like Joe in politics, it would be a better place," said a Democrat who once defeated him.
But he wasn't supported by the Republican Party. Why not? Serf Maltese made a deal with the Democrats in order to protect his own ass. And the rest is history.
Good luck battling the Queens Machine, Joe. And thank you for doing so. Now is the time to flush the Queens political chamberpot, which is overflowing with more crap than ever.