The Queens County Republican Party tonight endorsed Bo Dietl in the race for mayor. The Queens Republican Party had endorsed Paul Massey, but Massey announced his withdrawal from the race on June 28th. Dietl is not a registered Republican, having muffed an attempt at switching his registration from Republican to Democratic, and sought a Wilson-Pakula early in the race to run in the Republican primary. Republican leaders declined to offer Dietl such a waiver then, and the issue appeared completely ended after Dietl lost his lawsuit seeking reinstatement to the Republican Party.
I’m told that the vote, by the Queens County Republican executive committee, was Dietl-16, Malliotakis-3, abstain-2.
Tonights vote is good news for Council Member Eric Ulrich, the only Republican city or state legislator from Queens. He endorsed Dietl early in the race, and remains the only elected official to have endorsed Dietl. Paul Massey has not made any public endorsement or comment on supporting another candidate, and that neutrality appears to have been helpful to Dietl.
Tonight’s vote was only a first step for Dietl, who remains excluded from the Republican primary. To actually make it to the Republican primary in September he’ll have to obtain votes representing a majority of the five counties Republican committee members. That’s a large challenge, but possible. For Dietl, his best prospects appear to be in the Bronx, with a meeting scheduled for Wednesday. Like Queens, the Bronx GOP initially supported Paul Massey and is now candidate-less. Should Dietl succeed there, he’ll still have to win additional votes, with Manhattan the most likely possibility among the three remaining boroughs of Staten Island, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Getting the Manhattan votes he needs will be difficult, however. The Manhattan GOP initially decided to remain neutral between Paul Massey and Nicole Malliotakis, but subsequently endorsed Malliotakis when Massey withdrew. At the time of their initial decision to remain neutral there appeared to be little support for Dietl.