SOUTH BROOKLYN — Over 125 people attended the Kings County Conservative Party’s 57th anniversary reception at Sirico’s on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
“The Conservative Party has been around for 57 years,” said Brooklyn Conservative Party Chair Fran Vella-Marrone, who co-hosted the event with Vice Chair David Ryan. “Every one of you represents the conservative philosophy and is out there pushing conservative values because we need a strong and vital Conservative Party here in Brooklyn and in New York State.”
Also attending the dinner were New York State Conservative Party Chair Jerry Kassar; Assemblymembers Nicole Malliotakis and Simcha Eichenstein; City Councilmembers Joe Borelli and Kalman Yeger; former New York State Conservative Party Chair Mike Long; former State Sen. Marty Golden; John Quaglione, Republican Party district leader and deputy press secretary for DeSales Media; Brooklyn Republican Party Chair Ted Ghorra; Mike Connors, attorney and radio host of “Ask the Lawyer;” Supreme Court Judges Reinaldo Rivera and Donald Kurtz; attorney Michael Tannousis, who is currently running for Malliotakis’ seat in the Assembly; and John Abi Habib, New Jersey’s honorary consul to Lebanon.
The Alice Gaffney Memorial Award, voted on by the executive committee in a secret ballot, was given to Vincent Katinas for helping to preserve and further the principles of the Conservative Party.
“I guarantee you that the person getting this award has no idea he’s getting an award, absolutely none,” said Vella-Marrone before announcing Katinas as the recipient. “This is somebody who has always supported the Conservative Party and contacts me daily about how we can register more people and get more people involved in the party.” Katinas was genuinely surprised with the recognition.
The Jim Gay Memorial Award was presented to Kassar in recognition of his many years of devotion, loyalty and dedicated service to the Conservative Party.
In introducing Kassar, Vella-Marrone said “he bled orange and black for the Conservative Party which has always been his calling. He’s a complicated fellow in a good way. He has a lot in him. He fights for what he believes in and believes in what he fights for. He has served his party well for many years, ever since he was a teenager.”
“I always fight. I don’t always win but I always fight,” said Kasssar, who served as Golden’s chief of staff from 2004 to 2018 and chaired the Brooklyn Conservative Party for 30 years before taking over as New York State chair following Long’s retirement in February. “I’m humbled to follow in Mike Long’s footsteps. He’s a great leader. I’m a good leader but I’m trying to be a great leader like Mike Long,” he added.
Malliotakis called Kassar a friend and mentor who has encouraged her from the start. “Jerry, you’re right. You don’t win every battle but we fight every battle. And I’m proud to fight alongside you, alongside Fran and alongside all the members and colleagues that are here today,” added Malliotakis.
Sirico’s is located at 8023 13th Ave.