And then there was one: GOP defends its last seat in Queens
She said cuts to police funding and bail reform measures have helped turn the city into a “blood-soaked shooting gallery” that scares New Yorkers away. She also opposes the mayor’s plan to close Rikers Island and build smaller prisons in the five boroughs.
Mr Ulrich said he supported Ms Ariola and believed she could win in November.
“People in this district vote for the person, not the party,” he said. “They are ready to vote for a moderate Republican when the Democrat is too liberal.”
But not all Republicans agree. Ms Ariola’s campaign has once been affected by the kind of vitriolic infighting that has divided Republicans in the borough for years.
The Queen’s Republican Patriots, a breakaway faction within the county party, backed local businessman Steve Sirgiovanni to run against Ms Ariola in the primary. His team responded by having him ousted from the poll because of the filing of his petition, a move that his campaign is appealing.
Joe Concannon, who founded the Queens Republican Patriots in 2018, said party leaders have become more obsessed with fighting their fellow Republicans than fighting Democrats. The focus, he said, should be on party building through fundraising, enlisting and recruiting moderate Democrats frustrated by their party’s drift to the left.
For decades, a handful of Queens Republicans have managed to win elections in the borough despite its demographic and political changes. But in 2012, Councilor Peter Koo, a Republican, switched parties to the Democrats, citing excessive Republican infighting. In 2013, Republican Councilor Dan Halloran, whose belief in paganism had once made him a controversial figure, stepped down after becoming involved in a bribery scheme to sell a seat in the Republican ballot.
Mr. Concannon complained that the county organization fell under the influence of Bart and John Haggerty, two brothers from Forest Hills who are vice president and executive director. (John Haggerty was convicted in 2011 of stealing $ 1.1 million in campaign funds from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Released in 2015, he has since returned to a leadership role.)