City Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing), one of the borough’s four Republican lawmakers, is planning on switching to the Democratic Party Monday, according to a published report.
Koo’s office would not confirm or deny a story in The New York Times citing the specific date, but a person familiar with his plans told TimesLedger Newspapers that the councilman had discussed switching in the past and might not have felt welcome in the GOP party.
Koo, a wealthy pharmacy chain owner originally from Hong Kong, ran as a Republican when he was elected in 2009, taking the council seat previously held by now City Comptroller John Liu.
Robert Hornak, a spokesman for Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa, said the party has not spoken to Koo and could not confirm that the Flushing councilman plans to move over to the Democratic side.
“We’ve received no information that he’s switching,” Hornak said. “
But while Koo leaned toward fiscal conservatism and focused on small business growth, he was more moderate on social issues, according to the source, who did not want to be identified because an official announcement had not been made,
The switch might also bring more benefits for his constituents, many of whom are Asian Americans like himself, according to the source, who said Koo might be able to get more funds as a Democrat.
If Koo goes through with the switch, it would bring the number of Republicans in the 51-member body down to four. The other Queens Republicans in the Council are Dan Halloran and Eric Ulrich.
Koo crossed party lines in August to endorse state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) in the congressional race to fill the seat of former Congressman Anthony Weiner rather than Bob Turner, who won the contest on the Republican line.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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