BY JAMES FARRELL
The Queens County Republican Party overwhelmingly voted to endorse independent mayoral candidate Bo Dietl at a July 17 meeting.
Dietl shared the news on his Twitter account, claiming a victory over Republican candidate Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island) in a commanding 16-3 vote.
“Thank you, Congressman [Bob] Turner, for letting the Queens GOP vote their minds,” Dietl wrote on Twitter, referencing the Queens County GOP chairman and former congressman. “That’s real democracy.”
Dietl, due to a series of missteps in his application process, is on neither the Democratic nor Republican party lines.
In order to be considered for a party line, he must receive a “Wilson-Pakula” waiver, in which three of the five county party committees vote to allow him to run on the party line. Dietl has been trying to get a Wilson-Pakula to run as a Republican, but none of the five GOP party chairs appeared interested, according to several reports last month.
But the PRESS of Southeast Queens reported last week that the Queens County GOP would vote on whether it would endorse Malliotakis or support a Wilson-Pakula for Dietl, with one GOP insider saying that the endorsement was “up for grabs.”
As Malliotakis has appeared poised to be the leading Republican candidate and a Wilson-Pakula must still be supported by at least two other boroughs, the Queens GOP’s vote was considered a surprise. But the county’s initial endorsement, businessman Paul Massey, dropped out of the race unexpectedly last month, and the borough’s sole Republican city representative, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Howard Beach), had already endorsed Bo Dietl. So, as Turner told the PRESS of Southeast Queens last week, things were still “up in the air.”
“At this time, we are just looking at the possibility of beating de Blasio, and the executive committee members felt that, perhaps, Bo Dietl would be more of a competitor to secure cross-over votes,” said Queens County GOP Communications Chairwoman Scherie Murray.
She added that, on a personal level, she was surprised by the result.
“I am personally in awe,” she said. “I voted for Nicole.”
Phil Orenstein, president of the Queens Village Republican Club, who endorsed Malliotakis, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Dietl released an official statement following the endorsement. In it, he referenced a recent trip by Mayor Bill de Blasio—whom Dietl calls “Big Bird”—to Germany to join protestors railing against the G20 Summit, which President Donald Trump was attending.
“Leaders in the borough know that I’m the only candidate capable of taking down de Blasio—Democrat, Republican or Independent,” he said. “Our city is plagued with corruption, crime and incompetent leadership from a bozo who catches the first flight to Hamburg after a police officer is murdered. Big Bird—your days are numbered.”
Ulrich could not be reached for comment for this story, but on the night of the vote, he tweeted out the results, along with “#BoMentum” and “#DumpDeBlasio.”
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, email@example.com or @farrellj329.