It’s the 27th of July, a Monday evening in Queens, and I find myself conversing with a Republican Candidate, for this November’s election (for Queens County, Civil Court Judge), at the Old Glory Republican Club Location in Glendale NY.
Prior to arriving at the location, I ask myself “what should I expect?” and “why Glendale?” After all, throughout the past three years the City of New York has had its share of political controversies. As I arrive at the location, I am greeted by the County Chairman, former Congressman Robert “Bob” Turner and Mr. Michael O’Reilly. Mr. O’Reilly informs me, the Glendale Location is now serving as the Queens GOP Headquarters. I take a quick tour of the location, an old storefront building with two apartments (one on the second and one on the third floor). The store front has been converted to a meeting place, sort of an old campaign office (or possibly a future campaign office?). The second floor is an old apartment that has been converted to an office space for the Republican Party.
Mr. O’Reilly begins to tell me that the current transformation of the Republican Party is more for the people of Queens, then the party itself: “We owe our residents a two party system” he says. O’Reilly, a longtime resident of Queens NY, tells me his parents and grandparents grew up in Broad Channel (Queens), and although he went to school in Belmore, Long Island, he remembers vacationing in his parent’s summer home (where he currently lives today). O’Reilly is the one of the three Republican Candidates for Civil Court Judge in Queens County this year, a graduate of Florida Tech University and Marine Corp. Officer, O’Reilly’s experience goes far beyond the court room.
A former Wall Street Broker and Pilot for Delta Airlines, he now spends his time as a Regulatory Attorney. At the start of his career (in 1985) while working as a Wall Street Broker, he spent his time like many New Yorkers, work by day and school by night, and in 4 years he graduated from New York Law School in 1989 (all while meeting the necessary hours to obtain his pilot license). After 10 years on Wall Street, O’Reilly started his law career representing clients in the court room, and within five years he decided to put his career on hold and live his dream of becoming a Pilot. When I asked him: why the sudden change? He stated it was his dream to be a pilot, and that he owed it to himself to live his dreams. He said “I had three goals (dreams) to be a Marine Corp Officer, a Pilot, and a Lawyer”. You can say it was sort of my bucket list items, he joked; but after 4 years as a pilot he returned to Wall Street as a Regulatory Attorney, where he helps his clients comply with various existing regulatory requirements imposed by federal, state and local government.
As he leans back in his chair, O’Reilly tells me “leaving Delta Airlines was the easiest decision I ever made, it wasn’t because of the job, it was because I just got married and my son was born, I wanted to spend more time with my family, that came first in my life.” In 1998 on a routine flight to Bogota Colombia (for Delta Airlines) he met his wife Angela. Although his Spanish was not great at time, he said he managed to communicate with her, and describes the experience as “Love at First Sight”. I love my wife, he says; and I have a lot of admiration for the Latino Culture. He describes Latino’s as upbeat, optimistic, cultural, hardworking, and a population of men and women that can overcome any obstacle to succeed.
Michael O’Reilly describes himself as a traditional New Yorker, hardworking and dedicated to his field. As an individual who can be a great judge for the people of New York, and that can be fair when upholding the law. He promises all New Yorkers that as Judge he will make decisions in an impartial manner. O’Reilly is determined to represent the people of New York in the November 2015 Elections. His message is: “to vote with your heart and mind, that elections are too important in our country to give to the political parties, and to remember that the voters in this country are in charge”.