2008-10-01 / Political Page

McCain/Palin Rally Invigorates Queens GOP Effort For Ticket

BY JOHN TOSCANO

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa addresses a crowd of hundreds at the Queens GOP's rally for John McCain on September 27th, as Executive Vice Chair Vince Tabone and Chairman Phil Ragusa look on. Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa addresses a crowd of hundreds at the Queens GOP's rally for John McCain on September 27th, as Executive Vice Chair Vince Tabone and Chairman Phil Ragusa look on. Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa and Executive Vice Chair Vince Tabone lauded U.S. Senator John McCain as a winning candidate in this year's presidential election at a McCain- Palin rally last Saturday.

Many of the party candidates in the November 4 elections also turned out for the rally. Representing the McCain- Palin campaign was Tom Dewey, grandson of the former New York governor.

Ragusa hailed McCain as "a true American hero who will do what's right for our country".

"We must work hard to spread this message here in Queens," Ragusa exhorted the crowd of about 200.

Tabone, the Queens Coordinator for the McCain campaign called attention to McCain's broad appeal. "The many Democrats and Independents here are a testament to the widespread appeal of the McCain-Palin ticket. You all understand how important this election is."

At another point, Ragusa told a reporter the rally was a tremendous success. Running his first major campaign since taking the reins of the organization last year, Ragusa said, "The turnout far surpassed our expectations, and the excitement was palpable. We are developing a strong force of volunteers to support John McCain, Sarah Palin and our entire ticket, which will help all our candidates. I'm expecting major victories on election day."

Besides McCain and Palin at the top of the ticket, the Queens party's main task is to help deliver victories for their two state senate incumbents, Frank Padavan and Serphin Maltese, challenged respectively by City Councilmembers James Gennaro and Joseph Addabbo Jr. Both races are expected to be very close.

Among the other candidates on hand were state senate candidate Peter Koo of Flushing who's challenging state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Liz Berney, running against Congressmember Gary Ackerman, and state senate candidate Tom Dooley, running against Senator George Onorato.

Assembly candidates Tony Nunziato and Rob Speranza were also on hand.

A special guest present was Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels and radio host. "You are the ground troops," shouted Sliwa, "Spread the message that America needs John McCain's experience and leadership. Don't give up, keep the faith and there will be victory on November 4th."

Among other members of the McCain campaign team present were Marvin Jeffcoat of Veterans for McCain; Bob Denobile, State Deputy Coordinator for Veterans for McCain; Queens Women for McCain Chair Marie Lynch; Queens Sportsmen for McCain Chair Timothy Furey; Andrea Catsimatidis, chair of NYU College Republicans, and Joe Ithier of Latinos for McCain.

During the rally, numerous people signed up to perform volunteer campaign duties.

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