On the second anniversary of killing the groundhog on Groundhog Day, Bill de Blasio is viewed with a lot of suspicion here in New York City, but also some fatalism by Republicans, who despair of finding a challenger. Enter Eric Ulrich.
The New York Post reports that the 30-year-old City Councilman from Queens is contemplating a run for Mayor in 2017:
City Councilman Eric Ulrich, 30, is being encouraged to enter the race by GOP leaders, including state chairman Ed Cox, Queens leader Bob Turner and Joe Lhota, the 2013 party standard bearer who lost to de Blasio.
All three said Ulrich is interested.
The councilman was first elected in 2009 and won another term amid the de Blasio landslide of 2013, even though Democrats outnumber Republicans in his district, which includes Howard Beach, South Ozone Park, the Rockaways and Woodhaven.
As the Post notes, if elected, Ulrich would be the youngest Mayor of New York since 1889. His challenge may be daunting, but at Ulrich's age, a run could build his profile for another run in subsequent years, and you can't know until you try; certainly de Blasio is in dire need of a general election challenge even if he doesn't garner a general election challenger (I should note that if a certain famous billionaire New Yorker really cared about stopping runaway progressivism in our city, he could have raised a finger to stop de Blasio in 2013). A 2012 New York Times profile of Ulrich as a Romney volunteer tells his story:
Born and brought up in Ozone Park, part of the Queens district he represents, Mr. Ulrich is the son of a single mother who gave birth to him when she was 15 years old. His grandfather, who helped rear him, was a union steamfitter...Mr. Ulrich, who retains Rudy Giuliani as an idol, reminds us how unusual, and nationally unmarketable, a sub-species the New York City Republican really is. Mr. Ulrich married the Dominican-born Yadira Moran, a Democrat (though he says he is in the process of converting her).
We New York City Republicans need all the reinforcements we can get.