By Celeste Katz
No big surprise that one of the state's most powerful Republicans is endorsing a GOP candidate for state Senate, but it's official: Rep. Pete King is behind City Councilman Eric Ulrich's run.
"Eric understands that the way to put New Yorkers back to work and grow our economy is by lowering taxes on families and small businesses and reigning in the reckless government spending that has created unsustainable deficits and threatens our competitiveness," said King in a campaign statement. "His conservative principles of limited government, safe streets and a strong quality of life will make him an excellent representative in Albany and I urge all Republicans to vote for him on September 13th."
In a nod to King's chairmanship of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Ulrich said he'd work with him "to keep New York City safe, ensure our veterans coming home from war are cared for and revive our economy."
Updated material: To get to incumbent Democrat Joe Addabbo, Ulrich first would have to win a primary against Juan Reyes, a Forest Hills lawyer who picked up the support of the Queens GOP.
It's pointed out to me that King's endorsement of Ulrich is interesting in terms of Reyes' background.
Reyes, according to his official bio, worked in D.C. for Sen. Bob Dole and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld before returning to NYC to work in the administration of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani "at the Department of Youth Services as Deputy General Counsel, and later as a Counsel in the Office of the Mayor, and then as a General Counsel at the Board of Standards and Appeals."
Giuliani and King have long been members of a serious mutual admiration society: King was a vocal supporter of Giuliani's ill-fated 2008 bid for the GOP presidential nomination. (There was also that very brief "(President) King For A Day)" storyline last year.
Last week, Ulrich was busy trying to get Addabbo kicked off the Working Families Party ballot line. The effort failed, and the Senate Dems, in turn, used the court appearance to try to ding Team Ulrich for the presence of operative John Haggerty.
The Dems were no less willing to lay into Ulrich again today for touting King's support: "It is no surprise that Eric Ulrich would gladly accept the endorsement of one of the most extreme and partisan figures in Washington," said Senate Dems spox Mike Murphy. "This endorsement really proves how out of touch Mr. Ulrich is with the people of the district. He should ask Mr. King to explain his rationale for voting against common sense gun control legislation and even supporting shortening the waiting period for gun purchases."