Rockland County Legislator and county executive candidate Ed Day preached party unity at Wednesday night’s Clarkstown GOP meeting at Town Hall in New City.
The meeting had a spot for local candidates for upcoming elections to introduce themselves to the committee members and update them on their campaign. After Day’s talk, he opened it up for questions from the crowd. He was asked about a rumor going around that Legislator Frank Sparaco might also announce his candidacy for county executive. A blog post published on Patch earlier on Wednesday, which was written by Michael Hull and committee member Ralph Sabatini, was referenced in the questioning.
Day said he heard Sparaco say he will not enter the race, and all he’s heard from higher ups in the committee is that they might look into holding the convention early, possibly early April, to fully focus on Day’s campaign.
During the meeting, Louis Babcock, one of the county’s commissioners of elections, said he spoke to Sparaco and the “rumors of Sparaco running are 100 percent false.”
While updating the committee on his campaign, Day spoke about the work they’ve done so far and where they want to go from here. He said to get to the point where he has a shot at winning the election, it’s important for the party to be united, especially since there are three Democratic candidates vying for the county executive’s office.
“They are fighting out there, we are organizing,” Day said.
He also said they already have a county committee and a town committee, but they won’t be able to fully tap into the strength of the party until the official nomination.
“We’re going to have a very, very strong ground up organization to move this campaign forward,” Day said.
He added that he and his campaign staff think it’ll cost a minimum of $350,000 to run the campaign and so far they’ve raised a little more than $100,000.
“This is not big money,” he said. “This is our committee, these are neighbors, these are folks who believe in what I’ve been trying to do over a number of years. I’m proud of that. It means a lot to me.”
Day said that coming up he’ll have a variety of fundraisers, including house parties, a golf outing and an event at Boulder Stadium during a Rockland Boulders game. He also spoke about the importance of the upcoming election.
“This election is the most critical election, I think, in our lifetimes in this county,” he said. “We are at a crossroads. It’s important that you understand that we have an organized approach, that we are looking to win.”
The only other candidate at the meeting was Judge Craig Johns, who is seeking his sixth term as a town justice. Johns, of Nanuet, said that the town court operates in the black and brings in more money through fines and penalties than it costs to operate the court.
He also said he feels it’s important to get out and campaign even though judges can’t get into their own personal thoughts on specific issues.
“It is important for us to go out and campaign and bring out our vote to support the other people that are running. Judges are a little bit more limited politically. We’re not allowed to discuss political topics, such as gun control, which is huge right now,” he said.
“We don’t make laws, we enforce the laws.”