Republicans John Quaglione and Liam McCabe yesterday officially jumped into the scrum for the upcoming vacant 43rd City Council District that the term-limited Vincent Gentile now holds.
The lifelong Bay Ridge residents join Republican Bob Capano, who already announced his candidacy, in what is expected to be a hard-fought September primary, with the winner going against the Democratic primary winner in November. The district is one of the few, if only districts in the borough, with a strong enough two-party system in place that the candidate that is the most organized and appealing to voters will win, regardless of party affiliation.
“I am excited to announce that I am entering the 2017 race for New York City Council’s 43rd District, which encompasses Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst,” said Quaglione in an emailed announcement that he is running. “I will soon begin to outline my vision to improve and make our community stronger for all of us. But I can not do this alone and that is why I hope you will join my team. We will be in touch again soon. I know this is going to be a great campaign.”
Quaglione, who currently serves as the Communications director for Bay Ridge State Sen. Marty Golden, was the 2013 Republican, Conservative and Independence Party nominee for seat but lost to Gentile.
He is a graduate of the Public School 48, the Genesis Program, Adelphi Academy and was holds a B.A. in Political Science from American University in Washington, D.C. As a teenager, Quaglione served as a member of the Bay Ridge Ambulance Volunteer Organization’s Youth Squad, supported efforts of the Bay Ridge Parks and Waterfront Council, and was an intern in the office of Congresswoman Susan Molinari. John is a past recipient of the Kassenbrock Brothers Memorial Scholarship.
Besides the gig with Golden’s office, Quaglione is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of St. Anselm Catholic Academy and the Co-Chair of the Brooklyn Committee of the March of Dimes. While Quaglione has remained relatively quiet about the race in compared to both Capano and McCabe, the announcement was not unexpected.
While Quaglione’s announcement was more low-key, and Capano has been running for a while with a steady stream of press releases about everything short of announcing the sun has risen, McCabe has rolled out his campaign in a more orchestrated fashion. This includes an announcement that he switched his party affiliation from Conservative to Republican in November, and with a somewhat dubious announcement two weeks ago concerning the growing amount of Republicans in the borough jumping on the draft Liam bandwagon.
In keeping with this motif, McCabe made the announcement last night before a packed ‘Groundhogs Day Party’ that he hosted complete with free food and drinks at The Leif Bar, 6725 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge.
Sources say the party was quite good and KCP Publisher/Editor Stephen Witt would have likely showed up had he not had family visiting from out-of-town, which accounts for the lateness of posts yesterday and today. Being a journalist of unscrupulous integrity and ethics, Witt is known to partake in both Democratic and Republican gatherings of such ilk as liquor and food has no party affiliation.
Nonetheless, the affable McCabe – like his two opponents – has the political chops and experience to run a capable campaign and represent the district, and thus announced his intentions at the Groundhogs Day gathering.
“I have talked to a lot of my family and friends and community leaders the last few months and they encouraged me to run,” said McCabe. “I realized I’ve come to love my work I’ve done helping people in South Brooklyn as a staffer for two Congressmen and as a small business owner hiring young people, and my role as city councilman would allow me to do even more in my community.”