Street Warfare in Queens

Looking over a handy list of candidates for all New York City offices (here in .pdf form, link now working), it’s become clear that the hardest-fought politics this year is going to play out at the bottom of the political food chain in Queens.

There, Bloomberg aide John Haggerty has filed rare challenges to nearly 120 members of the Republican County Committee in about 60 districts; those challenged include Tom Ognibene and his wife, Margaret. These mini-races will be fought out between now and September, though one Haggerty ally said they aim to disqualify the petitions of some rivals in the meantime.

This is, in part, the latest in a complex and age-old (think: Balkans) three-way Queens Republican squabble. But it’s also prelude to a coup against County Leader Serph Maltese, who is elected by the county committee. And it’s a rare and refreshing instance of Mike Bloomberg engaging in an extremely traditional local political sport: revenge.

One other Queens note: When The Politicker reported yesterday that Leroy Comrie of Southeast Queens would appear on both Republican and Democratic lines, I understated the feat Comrie had pulled off. This November, he will be the candidate of no fewer than four political parties, Democrat, Republican, Working Families, and Independence. His name will appear on the ballot four times, and his will be the only name for his race.

Southeast Queens, meet Primorsk circa 1973.