New Queens GOP councilwomen have a history of bad blood

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New Queens GOP councilwomen have a history of bad blood

There’s bad blood coming to City Hall.

Though Republicans in the chamber have expanded their conference to five members, two of their newly elected are mortal enemies, sources say.

Vickie Paladino (R-Flushing) and Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park) have been butting heads in Queens for years in a feud that has long divided the borough party, insiders say.

“Right now I would … be a little concerned about their immediate relationship,” said state Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar. “Everything I hear is that they are oil and vinegar. They really do have a problem getting along at the moment.”

Gavin Wax, president of the New York Young Republican Club, compared Team Paladino and Team Ariola to the Hatfields and McCoys.

The origins of the beef stem from 2018, when Paladino, a 67-year-old small business owner, sought the GOP nomination for a state Senate seat in Northern Queens. She styled herself as an insurgent candidate and was something of a local folk hero in Whitestone after going viral for screaming at Mayor de Blasio during a press conference in the neighborhood.

But the party, led by Ariola, was less enthusiastic and ultimately supported Paladino’s primary opponent, Simon Minching, a suit-and-tie-wearing executive at Peter Thiel’s Palantir Technologies. Things got nasty.

“I think that Vickie Paladino is a radical who is very much what we don’t want our party to be affiliated with,” Ariola told the Queens Chronicle in August 2018. Ariola and the party even briefly considered challenging Paladino’s petition signatures.

“Vickie Paladino represents everything that we are not,” she added to QNS.com.

Paladino returned the favor in a scalding rebuke during a meeting with Ariola and senior Queens GOP leadership just before the primary vote in September 2018.

“We didn’t need to hear from the underbelly of the corrupt GOP,” Paladino said. “I have been assassinated by the Queens GOP but I got news for you … you’re going to be very sorry.”

Joann Ariola
Ariola won her Council race against Democrat Felicia Singh and will replace her close GOP ally Eric Ulrich.
Dennis A. Clark for NY Post

The tirade ultimately sparked a brawl and the cops had to be called. Paladino proudly posted a video of the altercation to her Facebook page.

Paladino won the primary, but lost the election to Democrat John Liu.

The same dynamic played out again during her 2021 City Council race, with Ariola and the Queens establishment backing yet another primary opponent, John-Alexander Sakelos, who Paladino again handily dispatched. She then beat Democrat Tony Avella in the November election.

“For too long our party has nominated the wrong kinds of candidates, party insiders and amateurs who are not ready for prime time — only to lose over and over again,” Paladino said in a primary ad over an image of Ariola.

Ariola, a 63-year-old former court stenographer, won her Council race against Democrat Felicia Singh and will replace her close GOP ally Eric Ulrich.

Vickie Paladino
Paladino said the two had a “productive conversation” this week.
Facebook

Now both women will serve in a Council that has its largest GOP contingent — five party members with two moderate Democrats closely aligned — in 30 years.

This week the women claimed they played nice, lunching Wednesday at the The Capital Grille in Midtown.

”We had a chance to talk to each other privately and openly … and we are all … feeling that we need get this city what it needs,” Ariola told The Post.

Paladino told The Post they had a “productive conversation” and it was “long past time for us to move forward and work together.”

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