OSSINING, N.Y. -- Westchester District 9 Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining) wants to create a party that gives seniors a voice, while her opponent, Peter Tripodi, thinks it's all an election ploy.
Tripodi and Borgia were in court in White Plains this week, battling over the validity of Borgia's Support Our Seniors party. Tripodi claims she doesn't have enough signatures for the party.
"She formed her own party and in the process, she did a lot of questionable things," Tripodi said.
Tripodi accused her campaign of approaching people while they dropped their kids off at camp and misleading them into signing a petition in support of seniors, not a nominating petition.
Borgia said she was not aware of that allegation, but the petition was clear it was a designation petition for the November election.
District 9 covers Ossining, Briarcliff, Peekskill, Croton and Cortlandt.
Tripodi and Borgia are also battling the validity and amount of required signatures for the party.
"A lot of her signatures were invalid," Tripodi said. "They were signed by unregistered voters. She is needlessly tying up the court with all this paperwork.
Borgia said Westchester has a growing senior population and a lot of their needs were not being met. By creating a party for seniors, she could show lawmakers the voice seniors carry. Borgia wants seniors to be able to remain in their homes in their communities.
"There are a lot of benefits to seniors and to the community," Borgia said. "They can contribute to the community and there is an opportunity for intergenerational interaction."
If Tripodi is successful, Borgia said she intends to continue advocating for seniors.
Tripodi said Borgia was being disingenuous and just trying to win an election.
"The name of the party, Support Our Seniors, it was created by and for Catherine Borgia," Tripodi said. "She's trying to scam voters. It's just typical of politicians. She had two years to support seniors and waits two months before election time. It's blatantly political.
Borgia said of course she is trying to win an election and that she cares a lot about issues affecting seniors in Westchester.
"I think what Peter said is disingenuous and silly," Borgia said. "Of course we are running on issues, that's what we're supposed to run on. I am passionate about this. We want to do more for the aging population of Westchester. It's a good issue for campaign season."