BY LUIS GRONDA
Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa, 74, passed away on Tuesday after a brief battle with leukemia.
The Queens GOP sent out a statement on Tuesday, announcing his death.
“Chairman Ragusa had dedicated his life to serving his community, the Republican Party and particularly his friends and family. He has been Chairman of the Queens Republican Party since 2007 and will be sorely missed,” said party spokesperson Robert Hornak.
Ragusa faced difficult times towards the end of his run as chairman, including a petition against his reelection last year because some party members had concerns about the way the vote was conducted. A judge ruled against the petition earlier this year, saying there was not enough evidence to overturn the vote.
State GOP Chairman Ed Cox released a statement about Ragusa’s death.
“Phil was a good man, was dedicated to Queens County and the Republican Party and was an indomitable County Chair,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) also had kind words for Ragusa after the news of his death became public, asking Queens residents to join her in mourning his passing.
“I’m saddened to learn about the passing of Chairman Ragusa. He was a decent and honorable man who for many years worked tirelessly to help improve his community and his party,” she said in a statement.
Kevin Ryan, who is the Northeast Queens Republican Club President, took to Twitter to express his condolences.
“I was very sad to learn of the passing of Phil Ragusa today and my heart goes out to his family and friends,” he wrote.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.