Mike in Queens

It’s not on his public schedule, but we’re told that Mayor Bloomberg will likely swing by Bella Sera, an Italian Restaurant in Whitestone, Queens, tonight to pick up the endorsement of a dissident faction of the Queens County Republican Party. Meanwhile, the Party leadership is likely to endorse his Republican rival, Tom Ognibene, at a separate meeting.

That’s the best Mike could do after a weekend during which he hit the phones personally — and apparently unsuccessfully — to ask mid-ranking Queens Party officials for their support. We spoke to one of those officials, who described how awkward it was to explain to the mayor that he wouldn’t be winning the Party’s endorsement.

The politics of Republican Queens are hugely entertaining. The factions represented by Serphin Maltese and Frank Padavan, respectively, have been at drawn daggers for years. And picking up the endorsement of the wrong faction (Padavan’s) is not, it’s safe to say, a major coup.

UPDATE: Mike will be at Bella Serra at 8:00.