1854 - Birth of the Party
Anti-slavery advocates, including
Abraham Lincoln, spearhead the creation of the national
Republican Party. The New York City Chapter is also established, with
Horace Greeley, publisher of the New York Tribune.
1854 - Early Victory
Myron Holley Clark is elected the first
Republican governor of New York.
1857 - Police Dispute
The Republican-controlled state
legislature creates the Metropolitan Police, effectively abolishing New
York City's Municipal Police. Although Democratic Mayor Fernando Wood
resists, the state government prevails, and the Metropolitan Police
patrol New York until 1870, when police power is restored to the local
1858 - Republican Endorsement
After the state legislature
strips Wood of his power, Daniel Tiemann, a Democrat and wealthy paint
manufacturer, is elected mayor with Republican support. He will serve
for only two years before Wood returns to power.
1860- Historic Oratory
Abraham Lincoln gives his famous Cooper Union Address,
which paves his way to the Republican presidential nomination later in
1862 - First Republican Mayor
George Opdyke, a clothing manufacturer,
financier, and member of the state Assembly, become the first
Republican to be elected mayor. His two years in office will be marked
by the draft riots of 1863,
during which he refuses to negotiate with the rioters. In the history if
the city, seven Republicans have served as mayor.
1874 - Animal Imagery
New York cartoonist Thomas Nast
gives the GOP its symbol when he
depicts Republican voters as an elephant in a cartoon for Harper's
Weekly. The inspiration came from a hoax perpetrated by the New York
Herald, which falsely reportedly that elephants from a menagerie had
escaped into Central Park where they were foraging for food.
1886 - Losing Effort
Republican Theodore Roosevelt, a member of one of the
city's most prominent families and a former state assembly member,
comes in third in a bid for mayor.
1895 - A Strong Mayor
After a long drought, another
Republican, reformer Republican William L. Strong, is elected mayor.
He will go on to reorganize the city's street cleaning department,
establish the Board of Education and create small parks in the city,
but will lose the 1897 election partly because of his enforcement of
blue laws and anti-Catholic school measures.
1895 - Police Commissioner
Strong appoints Theodore
Roosevelt president of the city's Board of Police Commissioners. Roosevelt then
establishes the foundation of the Police Academy and imposes stricter
discipline on police officers. He will leave the post in 1897 to become
secretary of the Navy and will later serve as governor of New York,
vice president and, after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901,
as president of the United States.
1901 - Reform Alliance
Seth Low, a
former mayor of Brooklyn and president of Columbia University, is
elected on a fusion ticket backed by the Republican and Citizens Union
parties. He is credited with introducing civil service and a merit
system for hiring city employees, lowering taxes while streamlining
government services, improving the school system, and reducing graft in
the police department. In 1903, he will lose the mayoralty to Democrat
George McClellan, Jr.
1909 - Legislative Branch
Allied with Fusion candidates,
the Republicans gain a majority on the Board of Alderman, a precursor
to the City Council.
1911 - Serving Both Parties
Republican President William
Howard Taft names Henry Stimson, a New York lawyer and
U.S. attorney for New York, secretary of war. He will later be secretary
of state in the Hoover administration and secretary of war under
Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat.
1916 - La Guardia in the House
Future mayor Fiorello
LaGuardia, a Republican, wins a congressional seat from heavily
Democratic East Harlem. He will remain in Congress, with a couple of
interruptions, until 1932.
1924 - Presidential Politics
Calvin Coolidge carries New
York City in the presidential election, the last Republican ever to do
1934 - Fusion Mayor
With support from Republicans and
reformers, Fiorello H. La Guardia is elected to the
first of three terms as mayor. Although a Republican, he works closely
with the President Franklin Roosevelt to secure funding for large
public works projects. He achieves the unification of the city's rapid
transit system, reforms surface transit, pushes for a new City Charter,
and expands city parks and cultural programs.
1937- Never a President
After achieving fame for his
prosecution of organized crime figures, Thomas Dewey is elected district
attorney of Manhattan. Six years later, he will become governor of New
York and then an unsuccessful presidential candidate, losing to Franklin
Roosevelt in 1944 and Harry Truman in 1948.
1946- Two Houses
Jacob Javits of the
Lower East Side is elected for the first of four terms in the Congress.
He will serve in the House until 1954, and then go on to the Senate
where he will stay until 1981. His achievements include playing a major
role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
1958 - Four terms
Nelson Rockefeller, a
scion of the wealthy family who grew up partly in New York City, is
elected to his first term as governor. Despite three unsuccessful
attempts at the presidency, he will be re-elected governor four times
before resigning in 1973 and briefly serving as vice president. As
governor, he created the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
1965 - Liberal and Republican
Republican John V. Lindsay is elected mayor. Labor strife turns out to be
the bane of Lindsay's administration. He also expands city services and
seeks to give blacks and Hispanics a great voice in the city. In 1969,
Lindsay will fail to receive the Republican nomination for mayor but
will win re-election on the Liberal Party line.
1975 - Famous Front Page
With New York City slashing
services to avoid defaulting on its bonds, Republican President Gerald
Ford vows to defeat any federal bail-out of the city, prompting the
Daily News to print the headline, "Ford to City: Drop Dead." After city
unions release funds to provide some relief, Ford relents and approves a
federal loan guarantee for the city.
1993 - From Prosecutor to Mayor
After losing the 1989
mayoral race, Republican Rudolph W. Giuliani is elected 107th mayor of New
York City. His administration will be noted for a large reduction in
crime in the city and revival of many neighborhoods. He receives
national acclaim for his handling of the September 11, 2001 terrorist
attacks on the city, but leaves office in 2002 because of term
1993 - Two Terms and Out
Wealthy Republican Ronald Lauder
successfully proposes and backs a referendum limiting New York City
officials to two terms in
2001 - Billionaire Republican
A registered Democrat,
millionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg changes his party affiliation
and gets the Republican nomination for mayor. He wins the general
election after a campaign in which he spends nearly $70 million of his
personal fortune. This marks the first time a Republican has ever
followed another Republican in the mayor's office.
2004 - Meeting in New York
For the first time in history,
the Republican National Convention will take place at
Madison Square Garden. It is expected to generate $150 million in
economic activity and be attended by 50, 000 people.
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