In the wake of bribery charges being brought against the Queens Republican Party’s executive vice president, Republican Councilman Eric Ulrich is calling for former Congressman Bob Turner to the lead the party.
“I want to see Bob Turner as the next chairman and I want [Queens GOP Chair] Phil Ragusa to resign immediately,” Mr. Ulrich told Politicker. “I believe Ragusa has an obligation to step aside. The only person who can bring peace and bring people together is Bob Turner because of his integrity, character and ability to work with people on different sides. He’s very conciliatory.”
Mr. Turner lost his congressional seat in the decennial redistricting process last year. He has been a rumored candidate to replace Mr. Ragusa, who angered some party insiders when he ran a primary opponent against Mr. Ulrich’s State Senate bid last year–the latest in what has been an ongoing feud between the party’s two factions. For his part, Mr. Ulrich also tried and failed to oust Mr. Ragusa in 2011.
Mr. Ulrich further said he was shocked that his colleague, Republican Councilman Dan Halloran, was charged with participating in an alleged bribery scheme to land Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith in the Republican primary, but was not surprised Vince Tabone, the executive vice president of the Queens GOP, was arrested as well.
“I’ve said all along and believe for a long time that [Mr. Tabone] and several others involved with county leadership have betrayed the public trust,” Mr. Ulrich said. “They don’ t stand for principals or ideology. They stand for themselves and financial gain. Now that the feds have gotten wind of this, they must be brought to justice. They should be prosecuted and held accountable for their actions.”
A spokesman for Mr. Turner did not immediately return a request for comment. Mr. Ragusa didn’t return a request for comment, either.