But he did say that he was planning to announce his plans tonight on Inside City Hall on NY1 and that he would meet with the G.O.P. screening committee that would decide the Republican nominee either tonight or tomorrow–a clear indication that he is inching closer to a run.
“Very few people get to go to the House of Representatives,” he said. “There are 435 Congress men and women in the country and how many people are in America? What does the census say– 400 million people? Very few people can say that they are have been to the House of Representatives…Congress is the big game.”
Ulrich has met with State Republican Party chairman Ed Cox and former mayor Rudy Giuliani about a potential run, but he has yet to meet with the screening panel made up of party officials in Queens and Brooklyn who will decide who will get the nomination.
Ulrich declined to say if anything could be deduced about his intentions considering that he was planning to meet with that screening committee after he announced whether or not he would run.
“Plans change, meetings get cancelled, I don’t have to go before the screening committee just because I am scheduled to show up,” he said.
A spokesman for the Queens Republican Party, Robert Hornak, expressed surprise that Ulrich planned to announce his intentions before meeting with the screening committee.
“That is interesting,” he said. “If he is interested he should be coming before the screening committee.”
Queens G.O.P. sources say that it has long been Ulrich’s intention to run for Congress, but that no one imagined that a seat would open up so soon. The race represents something of a no-lose situation for Ulrich– even if he loses, which seems likely in a heavily Democratic district, he will boost his name-recognition by running in one of the most high-profile races of the year.
Ulrich said that he had spoken with Republican legislators about redistricting and he said that they were not optimistic that the seat would be spared.
But he threw down a gauntlet to his Democratic counterparts who have been considering nominating a placeholder who can keep the seat for the next 18 months until the new lines get drawn.
“The people of the district don’t deserve a placeholder,” he said. “They deserve a Congressman.”