From The Independent Sentinel:
Democrats have spent years building up their party in states and counties where they once were weak, and are reaping the electoral benefits of these efforts. States that once were safe for Republicans have rather dramatically become swing states.
Compare that to the Borough of Queens where Republican County Chairman Phil Ragusa saw fit to challenge Eric Ulrich’s candidacy for State Senate, by promoting Juan Reyes. Reyes was the candidate of Ragusa’s choice, and chosen only after Ulrich announced his interested in the State Senate race.
Focusing near exclusively on this bruising primary Ragusa’s Republican Party failed to recruit even the faintest of challengers for my local State Assembly seat! Where there could have been synergy from a competitive candidate for State Senate and another for State Assembly, we had a primary that became nationally notable for its extreme negativity.
This primary was held because Phil Ragusa was upset by the prospects of a challenger coming from outside his approved structure of leadership. Eric Ulrich prevailed in the primary, but lost to the incumbent in November, no doubt hurt when all summer long Republicans were told not to vote for him.
After the local party blew through its resources in that primary, it became silent during the critical period after the primary. I received no mailers from the Queens Republicans, I received no phone calls and no canvassers came knocking to my door after Ulrich won the Republican nomination.
A party should have a powerful political apparatus designed to get the vote out, promote primary winners and guide new talent through the political arena, not to perpetuate petty vendettas.
In Queens, the County Republican Party functions first to keep the incumbent county leadership in place, and then to promote candidates who have “paid their dues” to the county party. This party engages in efforts to stop upstarts who dare to believe that they can be elected to serve in public office.
The constant and continuing failure of local leadership is demonstrated by the perpetual lack of competitive candidates for Borough President in Queens. Despite voting for the Republican nominee for mayor in the past six mayoral elections, during simultaneous down-ticket elections there have been no competitive efforts for the position by the local Republicans.
We see a county party not interested in promoting the free market and individual liberty ideology of the national party, but content solely with the ability to dole out patronage positions in the Board of Elections.