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Putnam Endorsements Cross Party Lines

Some local folks joked that they'll be placing their lawn signs on strategic sides—left and right—of the yard.

A handful of local and area Republicans, some of whom hold public office, announced their support this week for certain Democratic candidates running in the Nov. 6 elections.

In Patterson, Putnam County Legislator Mary Conklin, a Republican, is endorsing Luz Shulgin, one of the candidates vying for the District 4 position she’s leaving. Shulgin is facing Virginia Nacerino, who Democrats called “a fixture in Republican party politics for decades.”

In Brewster, Republican Mayor Jim Schoenig and four Putnam residents who are registered with the same party gathered Thursday afternoon with Justin Wagner (D). He is running against incumbent Sen. Greg Ball (R, C, I) for the 40th State Senate seat.

Southeast resident Loretta Lebitsch was an Independent for most of her life. She joined the Republican party three years ago, and tends to judge each election on its own—rather than defaulting to the conservative vote.

“I made the decision at a candidate forum,” Southeast resident Loretta Lebitsch said. “I’m not happy with Greg Ball, and that’s why I’m voting for Justin Wagner.”

Joe Bachmeier, Ball’s press secretary, said the gathering was an indication that “once again, Wagner is playing catch up and getting desperate.”

“For months we have built a solid coalition of Democrats and Independents for Ball, including the critical endorsement of popular Democrat Mayor [Patricia] Reilly in Mount Kisco,” he said Thursday afternoon.

After Wagner spoke for a few moments about Ball’s missteps—which he said includes using taxpayer money to send campaign materials, and spending thousands of dollars on outings with lobbyists in Albany over a six-month period—Schoenig shared his reasoning for backing Wagner.

“I think he [Wagner] said it best when he said it’s not Republican or Democrat, what it is is working with the best candidate, he said. “I think Justin is that best candidate. He’s willing to work with the villages and towns. We have not had any cooperation from Greg, and it’s just time for a change.”

Ball’s camp fired back with a slew of accomplishments relevant to the Village.

“As for Brewster, Sen. Ball has delivered $250,000 for the Brewster Theatre, over $150,000 for Brewster Schools and tirelessly worked on behalf of Brewster’s seniors, veterans and taxpayers,” Bachmeier said, adding that Ball has “bent over backwards to work with all local elected officials.”

Chris Arnold October 26, 2012 at 03:55 PM
So, Ferrante works in the "public sector" and is married to a teacher... yeah, chances are that he hasn't been a Republican for a good long time. Greg Ball has continually gotten better and has been less of a drama-queen. Not sure what the mayor is expecting. Unless they continually lock up the illegal immigrants on the street and get family-friendly places in the village, no one can help him. If the illegals are locked up, then legal fees by the village will need to be paid to the ACLU when they take the village to court... but that's how Mt Kisco cleaned up their streets in the 90s. They got some great trendy shops and locked up the loiterers, paid a fine for the ACLU court case and voila... Mt Kisco was vibrant. Ball can't assist with that. Maybe that mayor from Hazleton would like to run against our mayor in the next election.
Kevin Zawacki October 26, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Always an interesting phenomenon! There's a similar case in Bedford, where a registered Dem. running for the town justice post received Republicans' blessing. [http://patch.com/A-yX1t]
Ann Fanizzi October 27, 2012 at 09:48 AM
Internal party politics, factions and settling scores are the causes of these cross-endorsements.
Bob October 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I'm willing to bet that there's more geese in that field than Republicans for Wagner. Wagner and his four "Republicans". Good luck with that.
Peter Domin October 28, 2012 at 11:04 AM
I have Volunteered several years with Greg Ball, I still feel that he is the man for the job. Greg works very hard for all of us, and I feel a lot of people don't appreciate what he has done. Wagner is in desperate need as election day comes closer and closer, and he will do anything to sway people over. All I cam say is get out and vote on Novenber 6, 2012 and vote for Greg Ball for Senator.

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