Even if it was widely expected, Steve Levy gets a public boost today with the endorsement of Phil Ragusa, the chairman of the Queens Republican committee, who'd attended Levy's candidacy announcement in Battery Park last month. Queens carries the sixth highest weighted vote of the state's 62 counties, and the support of Ragusa and his executive committee, by one well-informed estimate, probably gets Levy close to 3 percent of the weighted convention vote out of the nearly 4 percent that the borough carries overall.* As a counter-measure, rival Republican Rick Lazio announced support from former Queens chairman and former Sen. Serphin Maltese, a longtime ally of Conservative Party chairman Mike Long. John Haggerty, a nemesis of Ragusa, is also reportedly with Lazio.
*Camp Levy points out that with 30 people voting last night and only two not voting for Levy, the 3 of 4 percent estimate would be low. A Lazio source says it is high, and figures Levy to get less than half the Queens weighted vote.