He’s a party pooper!
The Democratic candidate for Bay Ridge’s Council seat is charging that his Republican opponent John Quaglione has purposely omitted any mention that he’s running on the Grand Old Party line as a way to distance himself from President Trump and his tumultuous White House.
“John Quaglione is clearly hiding that he’s a proud Trump Republican because he knows that his party is out of step with the values of our community,” said Justin Brannan’s spokeswoman Daniele de Groot. “On just about every issue, from immigration and marriage equality to healthcare and reproductive rights, John Quaglione has moved in lock-step with Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. Voters will see right through this. John should be upfront and honest about his true party loyalties.”
Nowhere on Quaglione’s campaign website or literature does it mention his party affiliation — it never even once uses the word Republican, and his social media platforms lack the connection as well.
Comparatively, all of Brannan’s campaign material clearly states he’s a true-blue Democrat.
Quaglione — who had worked for the only Republican legislator who represents solely Kings County since 1997 before he took a leave of absence to run for the open Council seat — initially backed Gov. John Kasich for Commander in Chief before falling in behind Trump after he won the Republican nomination. But he has been rather silent on his presidency so far, especially compared to his own boss, state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), and his conservative rival.
Quaglione should show his true colors and either admit he’s not a fan of Trump or be proud of his party, said vocal Trump supporter Bob Capano, who battled Quaglione for the Republican nod, and is now running for the seat on the Reform Party line.
“I think it’s a disgrace that he’s hiding his party affiliation,” said Capano. “This is what voters are tired of, running away from telling the truth. If he doesn’t want to support President Trump, he should just say so instead of keeping his mouth shut and hiding on this campaign lit that he’s a Republican.”
But Quaglione’s campaign said voters should not be confused — he’s a Republican through and through, although his true allegiance is to the community.
“People know where to find John Q on the ballot and there is no question which party he belongs to and what he stands for, which is serving the community,” said his spokesman John Orlando.
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And on the other side of the aisle, Quaglione’s flack is also taking aim at Brannan for continuing to run farther away from Mayor DeBlasio as a way to attract conservative voters in a district known to swing more to the right than other neighborhoods across the borough.
In a hotly contested election in which Democrats are counting on that seat to stay blue, Brannan has racked up several heavyweight supporters city-wide, including Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James, and Councilman Mark Levine (D–Manhattan) — but notably absent from that list is his former boss, Hizzoner.
Brannan’s campaign said he is “not actively seeking the mayor’s endorsement,” as a way to maintain “checks and balances” in City Hall if he were to win, but it’s obvious that DeBlasio’s unpopularity in the district is what’s really keeping him away, said also-ran Republican candidate Liam McCabe.
“Everyone knows every door you knock on — nine out of 10 doors — everyone in this district can’t stand DeBlasio. The mayor is incompetent and screwing over the people in his district — it’s a bipartisan issue, we hate DeBlasio,” he said. “Justin got the message and he realizes that, so he’s just sort of having the mayor stay away for that reason, I don’t think he wants to remind the voters that he is extremely close to the mayor.”
Brannan took a step back from his alliance with the mayor during a political forum on Oct. 4 when he called himself an “independent Democrat” who would stand up to him, but his challengers were quick to call his bluff. And now, they are wondering why the two aren’t campaigning hand in hand together like they did back in 2013.
“I wonder if Justin Brannan plans to campaign with Mayor de Blasio in Bay Ridge like he did four years ago. Or maybe he wants him to stay away,” Brooklyn Conservative party chairman Gerry Kassar wrote on Twitter on Oct. 16.
Voters won’t be fooled by Brannan’s long and entwined history with City Hall, said Capano.
“Another career politician doing what’s politically expedient,” Capano said. “He can’t hide the fact from voters that he’s aligned at the hip to DeBlasio, he was the first in Bay Ridge to endorse him in 2013, he got a political hack job with the Department of Education. Voters aren’t going to be fooled by his shell game.”
But Brannan is proud of his connections across the city, said his spokeswoman.
“Justin is proud of his strong coalition of support he has built across government, community leaders, and organized labor. It’s a testament to his years of public service in this community and his unwavering commitment to addressing the needs of the families he intends to represent in the council,” said de Groot. “He is ready to hold this strong record of service up against his two opponents’ support of Trump extremism any day.”
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Army veteran Max Rose, who threw his hat into the ring as a Democrat to oust incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan (R–Bay Ridge), raked in more cash than the former Staten Island District Attorney in the latest federal campaign disclosure filing.
Rose raised more than $320,000 in just sixty days, from July through September, according to federal records.
But Donovan has still amassed the biggest war chest and raised $471,593 in contributions since January, records show.
Rose is the fifth Democrat mounting a campaign against Donovan — he joins Bay Ridge resident Mike Decillis, Staten Islander Zach Emig, Bensonhurst resident Boyd Melson, and Staten Islander Michael DeVito.
A convicted felon, who has raised just $77, is also challenging Donovan in the Republican primary.