Malliotakis Honors Life & Legacy of Longtime Conservative Party Leader Michael Long
Mike Long also had a huge impact on a younger, rising community activist and political hopeful named John Quaglione. Paying tribute to the unique leadership characteristics of Long, Quaglione sent the following remembrance:
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, Governor 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.
And another time, shortly after I lost my 2017 NYC Council campaign, I was walking intentionally with my head down along 5th 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.
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.
I am so proud to have known Mike Long and have his support in my political endeavors, but more importantly, I am glad to have been his friend. It is important his legacy stays alive because special people like Mike Long don’t come around every day, so forgetting him would be a mistake.
Brooklyn, New York
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