Malliotakis, Quaglione both praise his leadership, integrity
U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis on Wednesday joined members of the New York Republican congressional delegation in honoring the life and legacy of longtime New York State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long.
Long, who for many years co-owned Long’s Wine and Liquor Depot in Bay Ridge with his brother, Tom, passed away on Sunday at the age of 82. He also was honored by the Bay Ridge Community Council, the Knights of Columbus and other organizations; and was active in the campaigns of Sen. Al D’Amato, Gov. George Pataki and others.
For many years, Long lived in the Bay Ridge part of Malliotakis’ district, and she was proud to represent him.
“Mike Long was somebody who truly believed in faith, freedom, the American Dream, and family,” Malliotakis said. “He was not just a Marine who served our country, he was a member of the New York City Council, a small-business owner, and the chairman of the Conservative Party. He made such an impression and was so influential in our city and state politics for decades, and still continues to be because of his leadership.
“I owe a lot of my success to Michael Long. Thank you for all you’ve done for our community, the delegation, our city and our country. You will be sincerely missed,” she added.
Mike Long also had a huge impact on a young community activist and political hopeful named John Quaglione, who currently serves as deputy press secretary for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and previously served as deputy chief of staff and press secretary for former State Sen. Marty Golden.
Paying tribute to the unique leadership characteristics of Long, Quaglione sent the following remembrance. It reads, in part:
“They say in life it’s not every day you meet someone special, but for the last nearly 30 years, I knew a unique, passionate, classy, one-of-a-kind man named Mike Long. I was always impressed by how down-to-earth he was, no matter if he just spoke to the governor, the mayor, or the president. When you were talking to him, he made you feel like you mattered the most. And so, I thought to share two stories of my friendship with Mike Long as we mourn his loss, which exemplifies the kind of man he was.
“At one of my first New York State Conservative Party dinners, Gov. George Pataki was the featured speaker. I was waiting with a pen and the evening’s journal for an autograph, but the governor had no time to stop. Out of nowhere, I felt the book and the pen taken from my hand and overheard the words, ‘Governor, please sign this.’ And then it was returned to me. By who, you might ask. By Mike Long,” Quaglione said.
“And another time, shortly after I lost my 2017 NYC Council campaign, I was walking intentionally with my head down along Fifth Avenue. As I took steps forward, I noticed a person’s shadow on the ground, and I knew I had to look up. I made eye contact with this man who said to me, ‘Never walk with your head down. Be proud of yourself no matter what.’ The shadow, the man, was Mike Long,” he added.
“If there were only more like Mike Long, this country would be better off. Mike was a respectful debater who stood firm in his beliefs. A humble man despite such power and success. Always the best speaker at an event.”