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Republican Candidate and Tea Party Member Dr. Steven Katz of Yorktown is vowing to stay in the race for the 99th District Assembly Seat. On Monday, Republican delegates caucusing in Putnam County, selected James Borkowski over Mary Ellen Odell, Dr. Steven Katz and Yorktown Councilman Nick Bianco.
Bianco dropped out of the race and gave his support to Odell. Odell has since said she will not take part in a primary against Borkowski, but rather run for her seat in the Putnam County Legislature.
Katz, a 56 year old Veterinarian said, "The party machine in Albany has made it hard for honest hard-working citizens to serve this state in elected positions because it makes back room deals and corrupts the process. We the people will not be shut out anymore."
Katz has reportedly raised the most money of any candidate running for the Assembly seat.
Ed Ciffone, District Leader for the Yorktown Republican Committee and President of United Taxpayers of Yorktown said "I nominated Steve because he was the right man for the job. People need to have a choice of who represents them and the process needs to be fair and open, not have deals made behind closed doors."
Katz says he is moving forward with his candidacy and has embarked on a walking tour of the district, meeting with residents in the towns of Pawling, Southeast,Carmel,Paterson,North Salem, Somers and Yorktown.
Assemblyman Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) was in Yorktown Thursday for a public forum focusing on policies and practices to safeguard children from sex offenders. Ball, a member of the Assembly Minority Sex Offender Watch Task Force, was joined by Assemblyman Robert Castelli(R,C,I Goldens Bridge),Yorktown Supervisor Susan Siegel,Yorktown Councilmembers Nick Bianco, Dr. Terrence Murphy,Vishnu Patel,Yorktown Town Justice Salvatore Lagonia,and local law enforcement officials.
Ball has worked previously with Putnam County officials to enact Child Safety Zones in that County which bar convicted sex offenders from living or working near places children live or frequent.
Ball said,"This is a very complex issue. It involves molestation, rape, assault,incest and other sexual crimes. Most of these crimes are committed within the four walls of our homes, or by people we know and trust." He added, "We need unified participation and communication from the many advocates as well as the school districts to combat the problem."
Rebecca deSimone of Victims Assistance Services said Child Safety Zone legislation is not a comprehensive solution to the greater problem. According to deSimone,"Strangers are responsible for only about 10 percent of the attacks. Ninety percent of abusers are known by the victims. They are family or people within our communities, and we need a comprehensive perspective on this crime."
Former Southeast Town Justice Jim Borkowski announced Wednesday that he is abandoning his bid for the 99th District State Senate Seat that's being vacated by Vincent Leibell and now plans to run for the 40th District State Assembly Seat that's currently held by Greg Ball. Ball is running for the Senate Seat in the 99th District.
Borkowski cited "Party unity" as the reason for switching the race.
Said Borkowski, "Everything is on the line this year. We(Republicans) must take back the New York State Senate." He added, "My participation in a three-way primary will only forestall a strong General Election Campaign to defeat the Democrats, hurting our changes of re-taking the New York State Senate." Republicans Greg Ball and Somers Town Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy remain in the race. Westchester County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz is the declared candidate on the Democratic side.
An official announcement isn't expected until Thursday, but longtime Yorktown Councilman Nick Bianco (C) has announced plans to run for the 99th Assembly District Seat that is being vacated by Assemblyman Greg Ball (R-C-I Patterson) . Bianco is serving his 14th year on the Yorktown Town Board. The district includes Yorktown, Somers, North Salem, Southeast, Carmel, Patterson and Pawling.
Bianco, a registered conservative, says he's running “To bring change to Albany.” Said Bianco, “Our backs are against the wall, we are overtaxed, the state is in chaos and there is no place to go but forward.” He adds, “I think that Albany needs someone that has a mind that doesn't think party labels.”
Republican Steve Katz of Mohegan Lake is also planning to run for Ball's seat. Ball, who has served for two terms as a State Assemblyman, has announced a bid to run for the 40th District State Senate Seat that is currently held by Vincent Leibell.
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