Here’s the formal announcement that the new state GOP executive director is Allison Coccia, the former political director of the Pennsylvania Republican Party. (She’s third from the left in a picture from this website.)
The other person up for the job was John Haggerty, an experienced Republican operative who has worked with Mike Bloomberg, George Pataki and Jeanine Pirro.
Haggerty, along with his brother Bart, has waged a war against Queens GOP leader Serph Maltese with jihad-like intensity. So maybe it was just too much of a stretch for a state leader to hire someone intent on ousting an established county leader.
But new party chair Joe Mondello hinted at another possible reason in a statement announcing the hiring of Coccia in which he said he was happy to have someone “who isn’t necessarily wedded to the way things have been done in the past.”
Party spokesman Tony Santino told me that the line was not, repeat, not a reference to George Pataki or anyone else in the current party establishment, but “simply a recognition that we had some tough times in the Republican Party in New York State and the chairman is looking to do some new and innovative things.”
– Azi Paybarah