CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Croton Republican Committee announced Monday that it will not present a slate of candidates in the November 2012 village election. The committee said vitriolic campaign rhetoric led to the decision not to run candidates.
"Our party cannot, in good conscience, subject our members to the McCarthyite attacks that running for office in this village has engendered, thanks to those who choose to participate in the political process by tarring and feathering their neighbors with lies and innuendo, and who do so without accountability by hiding behind a cloak of anonymity," read a press release signed "The Officers and Members of the Croton Republican Committee."
The committee wrote that campaigning brought an "unremitting barrage of false and defamatory attacks by anonymous websites and commentators, the tone and tenor of which has spilled into the general community."
"The baseless vilification of our neighbors has harmed their personal reputations, and has damaged the CRC both financially and in its role as a community political organization," the committee said.
Although the committee did not specify a website, the Croton Republican Committee and its chair, Susan Konig, filed a lawsuit in March against the blog "Watch Croton," claiming the website had anonymous, defamatory posts.
The announcement from the Croton Republican Committee came immediately after the petition filing deadline for candidates who wished to be on the ballot in the Sept. 13 primary for state and local offices. The Croton Democrats have endorsed incumbent Trustee Ann Gallelli and resident Andy Levitt as candidates for the village board. The two, with 23-year-old Kevin Davis, will be on the primary ballot, seeking the Democratic nomination.
The sole Republican member of the Croton Board of Trustees, Greg Schmidt, announced during a meeting that he will not seek re-election. The announcement from the Croton Republican Committee thanked Schmidt for "his years of service to this village during his tenure in office as both Mayor and Village Trustee."
Davis announced Thursday that he had collected 321 signatures. Gallelli and Levitt have collected 172, and petitioned together to be placed on the ballot.
The November 2012 election will be the first Village of Croton election to be held in the fall. Davis was a member of a citizens group that conducted a referendum campaign to move the village elections to the fall.