The New York City Republican Party has had “the right message but for years we have not had a messenger who could deliver it to allll the communities. I’m telling you, right now, I am that messenger.” That was at the core of Republican mayoral candidate Michel Faulkner’s pitch to the Queens Village Republican Club in a recent visit. Faulkner’s fiery speech drew a standing ovation, far exceeding rival Paul Massey’s reception the prior month, although enthusiasm waned as he dealt with audience questions.
Faulkner does differ from most New York Republican candidates. He’s a Baptist minister and African-American who cites Jerry Falwell Sr. as a “political mentor [and] spiritual father.” Low on money but high on energy, the 6’4″ Faulkner’s religious roots infuse his appearances as he preaches politics. He’s fluid at the mic, quickly revving up as he attacks Bill de Blasio with his energy filling the room. He’s spotty on many issues, however, often displaying a lack of significant depth on specific topics. Continue reading I Am That Messenger→
The Reform Party hosted a mayoral candidate forum Tuesday, with six candidates appearing and seeking the 2017 Reform Party nomination for New York City mayor. The participating candidates included Democrats Sal Albanese, Michael Tolkin and Kevin Coenen, Republicans Michel Faulkner and Rocky De La Fuente and currently man-without-a-party-but-hoping-to-run-as-a-Republican Bo Dietl. All expressed a desire to run on the Reform Party line in addition to that of their respective party.
The Reform Party was created in 2014 by Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino as the “Stop Common Core” ballot line. Winning more than 50,000 votes in that election brought a four year ballot existence for the party, which changed its name to the Reform Party. Astorino and his allies lost control of the party, however, with Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa taking control. (There’s a separate and unaffiliated Reform Party that is part of the national Reform Party of the United States.) According to Sliwa, the Reform Party’s 18 committee members will select the party’s mayoral nominee, likely in late April or May.
Video – Here are the six candidates giving short introductions:
The Republican mayoral primary rolled through Queens Village Sunday as America’s oldest Republican club held its annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Over 300 people attended, lamenting the perceived faults of the de Blasio administration and hoping for a path to ending that administration. Candidate Michel Faulkner and prospective candidate John Catsimatidis spoke during the dinner, while candidate Paul Massey attended the cocktail hour but did not address the crowd, departing before the dinner began. 2014 Republican gubernatorial nominee Rob Astorino also attended the cocktail hour, but departed without addressing the crowd.
With a long list of speakers and honorees, the dinner program limited the mayoral candidates to about 5 minutes each. Faulkner took full advantage of his short time, launching into a fiery denunciation of Mayor de Blasio with a “dump de Blasio chant” and a declaration of “desperate times” in both the country and the city. He breezed past his campaign finance difficulties, proclaiming that he’s “in it to win it.” He closed by quoting Donald Trump; unlike Paul Massey and prospective candidate Eric Ulrich, Faulkner is an enthusiastic Trump supporter.
Like a blooming sign of spring, the nascent Republican mayoral primary continued emerging this week, with a candidate forum last night. Hosted by the Columbia University College Republicans, the forum featured four candidates: Darren Aquino, Michel Faulkner, Paul Massey and Eric Ulrich.
The forum was a “compare and contrast,” rather than a mix-it-up/toe-to-toe, style. Each candidate was asked each question seriatim, with little direct interaction among the candidates. It’s a less dramatic format, but useful in this early “getting to know you” stage. The audience of about 75 people was attentive but mostly silent in the soaring rotunda of Columbia’s Low Library.
Aquino is an actor and self-described “national advocate for disabled” who has not had any significant previous visibility in the race. His January campaign finance filing reported raising $1,000, with $542 on hand. Faulkner and Massey are both declared candidates who have been running energetically for months, with their most recent appearances being Wednesday night at a Bronx County Republican dinner. Ulrich, a member of the City Council and the only Republican candidate with government experience, is registered with the Campaign Finance Board as a candidate for an “undeclared” city office. He’s effectively running at the moment, albeit at a somewhat reduced pace and without a full commitment, appearing at some political events while he considers whether to fully move ahead and formally declare himself a mayoral candidate. That decision is likely in the next couple of weeks.
John Catsimatidis, a wealthy businessman who lost to Joe Lhota in the 2013 Republican primary, is also considering a run but did not appear at this forum. Like Ulrich he’s appearing at some political events but hasn’t announced his candidacy. (Unlike Ulrich, he has not registered with the Campaign Finance Board.) Catsimatidis recently said that he expects to make a decision on running by late March or early April.
It was dinner with the 1%. Not that 1%, but the 1% of New York City voters registered as Bronx Republicans. The not-quite 40,000 registered Bronx Republicans comprise less than 1% of New York City’s registered voters and don’t have any New York City or New York State elected officials, but they hosted an energetic dinner last night featuring two mayoral candidates and one prospective candidate.
Cast by Bronx County Republican Chairman Mike Rendino as kicking off the 2017 Republican mayoral race, the dinner featured appearances by candidates Paul Massey and Michel Faulkner and possible candidate John Catsimatidis. Among the three hundred or so attendees were Republican State Chairman Ed Cox, Republican County chairs from Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island and New York City’s two Republican members of the New York State Assembly, Staten Islanders Nicole Malliotakis and Ron Castorina.
Republican mayoral candidate Michel Faulkner does not support a state constitutional convention. He gave a nod to supporters, but ultimately placed himself in the “no” for November’s ballot question.
The 2017 general election will present voters with a ballot question of whether to hold such a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon.” The state constitution requires that voters be presented with such a ballot question every 20 years; it was voted down in 1997 and 1977. Should voters approve a ConCon, convention delegates would be elected in the 2018 general election and the convention would convene in the spring of 2019.
Republican mayoral candidates Paul Massey and Michel Faulkner appeared at a candidate forum hosted by the Brooklyn Republican Committee last night. The candidates appeared separately for just under an hour each, with time allotted for a speech, questions submitted via social media, audience questions and press questions. An audience of 60-70 people listened closely, responding positively to both candidates although more enthusiastically to Faulkner.
Sitting in the audience was New York State Conservative Party Chairman and Brooklynite Mike Long. Long said that he does not yet personally support any mayoral candidate and that he was there to listen. Long also said that his party is also not yet at a decision point for selecting a mayoral candidate, adding that Massey, Faulkner and John Catsimatidis have expressed interest in receiving the party’s support.