WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Westchester Republicans will join those from around the state on Tuesday to vote in a primary to pick a challenger to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) in the November election.
Manhattan attorney Wendy Long, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos and U.S Rep. Bob Turner of New York City are all seeking the Republican nomination and the race could be very close, said Peter Tripodi, Ossining Republican Party vice-chairman. None of the candidates are well-known, Tripodi said, and it’s possible voter turnout could be low with the primary being moved up to June. It was traditionally held in September.
Tripodi said he’s hopeful the party has a clear winner who can challenge Gillibrand this fall.
“I think all three of the candidates are on my side of the issues,” Tripodi said. “We need to get spending under control and get this country’s economy back on track.”
Long previously held positions working with Sen. Gordon Humphrey in New Hampshire and Sen. William Armstrong of Colorado and worked as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She is also a member of Gov. Mitt Romney's Justice Advisory Committee, teaches Roman Catholic religious education classes in New York City and is a member of the New York City Parks Mounted Auxiliary Unit, according to her campaign website.
Prior to becoming Nassau County’s comptroller, Maragos worked for more than 35 years in banking, information systems and consulting, according to his campaign website. Maragos was born in Greece and migrated to Canada and became a U.S Citizen in 1985. Maragos has won endorsements from the Nassau County Republican Party and Long Beach Tea Party.
Turner won his congressional seat, representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens, in a September 2011 special election. He serves on the Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security and Veteran Affairs committees, according to his campaign website. Turner recently received several endorsements, including one from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Tripodi said Turner is the only candidate who has stood out from the field.
“I think his upsetting victory for the congressional seat said a lot,” Tripodi said. “I met him at a Republican Party function a couple of months ago and he stood out as a nice guy and best-suited for the job. I shook hands with Maragos at a convention but he never stopped to have a conversation. I had a conversation with Turner and he was willing to take time to speak about issues and I liked what he had to say.”
Tripodi said he hasn’t heard much from either Maragos’ or Long’s campaigns.
“Other than that quick handshake, I haven’t seen anything from Maragos,” Tripodi said. “With Wendy Long, I haven’t heard anything from and I haven’t seen her anywhere."
For information on polling places, absentee ballot regulations and results of Tuesday’s primary, residents in Westchester are asked to visit the Westchester County Board of Elections website.