By Gabriela Resto-Montero
UPPER EAST SIDE — Republican congressional candidate Dino LaVerghetta gained a substantial edge in the Republican primary race for Rep. Carolyn Maloney's seat, obtaining the endorsements of both the New York County Republican Party and the Queens County Republican Party over the weekend.
LaVerghetta will face off against Ryan Brumberg in the Republican primary for Congressional District 14, which includes the East Side of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island and parts of Queens.
"I think the endorsement reflects the fact that we are the campaign best able to represent and grow the Republican Party and defeat Carolyn Maloney in November," LaVerghetta said in a statement.
"Carolyn Maloney votes the party line 99.1% of the time...." LaVerghetta added. "When someone votes that way, we know what's going on. Carolyn Maloney works for Nancy Pelosi; she does not work for the people of this District."
If LaVerghetta does clinch the Republican nomination, he will face very tough odds against his Democratic opponent. Democrats outnumber Republicans three to one in the district.
Congresswoman Maloney's predecessor, Bill Green, was the last Republican to hold the District 14 seat. Green represented the area in the early 1990s before the district lines were redrawn to include parts of Queens.
LaVerghetta said he's counting on shoring up support in the outer borough of Queens, which has more conservative voters, to gain victory in November.
The candidate said he's now ready to shift focus to the general election, but a spokesman for his primary opponent, Brumberg, said despite LaVerghetta's endorsements, Brumberg was still in it to win it.
"We love our campaign, we love our credibility, we love our message and we're in the campaign for the long haul," said Matt Einhorn, Brumberg's deputy campaign manager.
The winner of the Sept. 14 Republican primary will face off against either Rep. Carolyn Maloney or Democratic upstart Reshma Saujani.