Councilman Joseph Borelli, a Staten Island Republican, today gave his whole-hearted support to Donald Trump’s bid for his party’s presidential nomination.
Mr. Borelli made the announcement on Facebook, praising what he described as the Queens-born billionaire’s crusade against “Washington beltway cronyism,” a mission that carried Mr. Trump to seven victories in the Super Tuesday primaries yesterday. The councilman, elected last year, added that he had requested the state GOP designate him a delegate for Mr. Trump at the party’s national convention in Cleveland in July.
“I will make no apology of the fact that I am proudly endorsing Donald Trump for President,” Mr. Borelli wrote, responding to a recent Staten Island Advance report that he would likely support the controversial candidate, and which urged him to reconsider. “I find his style, his candor and his ability to connect with people very refreshing, as do the millions of Americans who have already voted for him and the millions more who are eager to do so.”
In endorsing the front-runner, Mr. Borelli follows the lead of his mentor, former Councilman Vincent Ignizio, who has also backed Mr. Trump. According to a New York Magazine report, Mr. Borelli—who served in the state Assembly prior to replacing Mr. Ignizio in the Council last November—was part of a small group of Republican lawmakers who lobbied the builder to run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014.
Mr. Borelli added in his Facebook statement that he did not agree with all of the developer’s positions and statements, which have often had a racial tinge, and which the councilman acknowledged were not always “politically correct.” Mr. Trump has claimed that many undocumented Mexican immigrants are rapists, and called for a moratorium on Muslim immigration.
Many national GOP leaders have argued nominating a candidate who made such statements would preclude the party from drawing Latino voters away from the Democrats, which some Republicans believe could prove crucial for future presidential victories. The councilman, however, pointed out that Mr. Trump’s run appears to have massively boosted participation in the Republican primary.
“In my view, what our country needs is a transformation, and in my view, Donald Trump is the candidate best suited to offer the country transformational change,” he said. “Donald Trump’s candidacy is motivating people whether his critics like it or not. Aside from packing arenas, a clear indicator of the enthusiasm for his candidacy, he also represents the best opportunity to grow the GOP base.”
“He’s able to boil complex intellectual ideas on issues like trade, the economy, homeland security and restoring American exceptionalism into ideas that are easily understood by the masses, who are sick of the same old D.C. jargon,” he continued.
Mr. Borelli added he would ultimately support his party’s nominee even if it is not Mr. Trump, but the window is fast closing for the reality TV star’s rivals—Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz—to build momentum and gather the delegates necessary to eclipse him.
Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media