A well-connected Republican source says that Councilman Eric Ulrich told multiple people at last night’s state Republican dinner in Manhattan that he is very unlikely to run against Queens Democratic Sen. Joe Addabbo.
I texted Ulrich with about that information, and he simply replied, “No comment.”
Assuming that Ulrich is not running for Senate, it would be a blow to the hopes of Senate Republicans, who saw Ulrich as their top choice to run against Addabbo in a district the Senate Republicans made very Ulrich-friendly during the redistricting process.
Ulrich is seen as a rising star within the party, but also could well end up being the minority leader of the City Council following the 2013 elections.
If Ulrich does not run, there is a potential primary battle shaping up to take on Addabbo. Queens Republican chairman Phil Ragusa is backing Juan Reyes, a Hispanic Forest Hills attorney, who the party wanted to tap to run for Congress last summer. A source said that Reyes recently met recently with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — who has been a supporter of an Ulrich bid — about running.
Queens Republican spokesman Robert Hornak confirmed that the party was pushing for Reyes to run.
“If Eric doesn’t run, Reyes is the guy we’re looking to support,” Hornak said, adding that the Senate Republicans were “very receptive to Reyes running.”
But Ulrich’s faction of the Queens Republicans, which has a stronghold in southeastern Queens, is adamantly opposed to Reyes being the Queen GOP candidate. It is instead likely to back district leader and former Assembly candidate Tony Nunziato.
Reached by phone, Nunziato said a final decision would likely be made by Tuesday or Wednesday about who (if anyone) would run from his faction of the party if Ulrich does not.
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