Bloomberg and the Queens G.O.P.: A Theory

Last week, City Hall News reported that to get the endorsement of the Queens Republican Party, the Bloomberg campaign agreed to back the mayor’s longtime critic, Republican Tom Ognibene, in a bid for his old City Council seat.

The seat is held by Democrat Liz Crowley, cousin of Queens County Democratic Chair Joe Crowley.

Ognibene’s chances have recently improved. The Times Ledger is reporting that a Republican who briefly held the seat and could have challenged Ognibene in a primary, Anthony Como, is getting out of the race and taking a job in the Bloomberg administration.

The Queens Republican County Leader, Phil Ragusa, has always said his support for Bloomberg was contingent on Bloomberg's ability to help rebuild the party, which now has only two elected officials in the borough.

Conspiracy? No, says the Bloomberg campaign.

When asked for comment, a spokeswoman for Bloomberg’s campaign, Jill Hazelbaker, emailed to say, “Azi, we don't make deals in exchange for endorsements. Period.”