A name familiar to millions of New Yorkers could enter a volatile Queens City Council race.
Rudy S. Giuliani, chief of staff to Republican Councilman Eric Ulrich and second cousin to the former mayor of the same name, is mulling a run for indicted GOP Councilman Dan Halloran’s seat, multiple sources told Politicker.
“If there’s a special election, it’d be hard to pass up,” one Queens Republican insider said. “That’s how he’s framed it to me.”
Mr. Giuliani is perhaps the only candidate who could keep the seat in their party’s possession, two GOP sources argued, since Mr. Halloran was arrested two weeks ago for participating in an alleged bribery scheme and the Republican Party lacks a deep bench in the northeastern Queens district. The sources said Mr. Ulrich is encouraging Mr. Giuliani to run for the seat if Mr. Halloran does not seek re-election.
A special election, which would automatically occur if Mr. Halloran resigned or is convicted of a felony, could present a unique opportunity for a Republican candidate. A crowded field Democrats are already vying for the competitive seat, and as councilmanic special elections are non-partisan, a unified Republican front would be hard to defeat.
For his part, Mr. Giuliani denied interest in the race when Politicker reached out yesterday evening.
“Listen, as far as I’m concerned, there’s still a sitting councilman. Anything else is premature right now,” he said. “There’s still a councilman.”
Dennis Saffran, a Republican who ran against Mr. Halloran’s predecessor, Democrat Tony Avella, in 2001, may also be weighing another run for the seat. Last year, Mr. Giuliani passed on his own bid against Mr. Avella, who’s now in the State Senate.
Mr. Halloran has denied all wrongdoing.