2010-10-28 / Front Page

Astorino Endorses State Candidates, is Silent on Putnam Executive Race

Daily newspaper endorses MaryEllen Odell
Staff Reports
On Thursday, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino gave his endorsement for fellow Republicans Dr. Nan Hayworth, Assemblyman Greg Ball, Dr. Steve Katz, and Bill Gouldman. Hayworth is running for the 19th congressional seat, Ball for the 40th state senate district, Katz for the 99th assembly district, and Gouldman for the 90th assembly district. 
Although Astorino endorsed Republican party candidates for the state races, he has yet to offer an endorsement for the Republican candidate in the Putnam County executive race, State Senator Vincent Leibell. Leibell, whose senate district includes portions of Westchester, is in a seemingly close battle with Legislator MaryEllen Odell, a tea partier and Independence Party candidate. Odell, a Republican herself, narrowly lost to Leibell in the September GOP primary.
 “This is a time where people have to make a stand and say enough is enough," Astorino said in front of supporters in Yorktown. "Whether it’s a senior citizen or whether it is a person who is just getting married and trying to build roots in this county or in the Hudson Valley, or people who are … trying to keep their heads above water, policies in Albany have been destroying the dreams of a lot of people. We have a chance now to change that. We have a chance to stop this train wreck. We've got to take that stand."
“We are all looking forward to November 2 with excitement and exhilaration to be the choice of the people and to be sworn in [in] January, to start our county and state down a different path that leads to a better destination for all of our citizens,” said Katz.
Astorino toppled 12-year incumbent Andrew Spano, a Democrat, last year. He could not be reached for comment as of Friday afternoon.
Odell Picks Up Major Endorsement
On Friday, MaryEllen Odell received a major endorsement out of Westchester, winning the support of the Journal News editorial board.
“Our recommendation goes to Odell, who has worked her way up the Putnam County political ladder through years of grassroots involvement and has first-hand knowledge of the issues facing the county,” the editorial board wrote.
The daily newspaper out of White Plains praised Leibell for his years of service but they also raised concerns. “Leibell made waves during the campaign when he said he would consider replacing the Putnam County Sheriff's Department with a public safety department that would be under his direct control,” the board wrote, adding that “more oversight is one thing, but a complete takeover sounds suspiciously like a power grab.” Leibell later told the Courier that he was only interested in exploring various cost-saving options.
Odell has served on the Putnam legislature for five years. Leibell has served in Albany as a state senator and assemblyman for 28 years. For background on the spirited campaign, see "Putnam's Biggest Battle."
Look for more election coverage in the coming days at putnamcountycourier.com.

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‘No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.’ ~Hal Borland