Two things were certain no matter who you asked at the Brooklyn Republican Party’s Abraham Lincoln Dinner at El Caribe in Mill Basin Thursday night: the food was great and John Catsimatidis will be the next mayor of New York City.
The grocery billionaire was on hand to meet and greet Brooklyn’s GOP elite, who were all in agreement that the Greek immigrant’s rags-to-riches story proves he’s the man to lead the city.
“Catsimatidis is not a bureaucrat,” said republican Kings County chairman Craig Eaton. “He’s a man who came to this country with very little and made a success of himself across multiple industries.”
It was a Grand Old Party down at Mill Island’s swankiest country club, where Michael Reagan, adopted son of President Ronald Reagan, regaled the crowd as the evening’s keynote speaker.
Amidst humorous anecdotes and nods to his father, Reagan urged the assembly of right-wingers to band together, refrain from petty infighting, and avoid the fate of the reds whom his father famously tabbed the “Evil Empire.”
“We need to stop eating our young, stop all this infighting and, if we can’t do that, we’ll be the ones left in the ash heap of history, not the communists,” he said.
Ronald’s son made several erudite observations, mostly regarding his father’s legacy, but that didn’t stop him from claiming that the only way to stop the left wing was to keep together and keep fighting.
“The liberals won’t go away,” he said.
And the thought of one moving into Gracie Mansion come Jan. 1 has party leaders fearing a return the bad old days of New York City, when murders topped more than 2,000 per year.
“There are literally tens of thousands of men and women alive today because of the crime-fighting policies enacted by New York’s Republican mayors,” said Eaton. “We can’t let Democrats erase all the progress we’ve made in fighting crime.”
The night was capped with an award ceremony, honoring four local republicans for services to country, borough, and party.
Michael Gallo was honored with the Veteran of the Year Award, Diana Sepulveda received the Brooklyn Young Republican of the Year award, former Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington, , received the Businessman of the Year Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Nancy Mottola-Schacher, retired Commissioner of the NYC Board of Elections.Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn