YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- In one breath Hugh Fox, Chairman of the Westchester County Conservative Party, reaffirmed the party’s endorsements for Yorktown Supervisor and Town Council. But in the next breath, he criticized two candidates whom he deemed not true Conservatives.
“The reason why I’m up here, the reason why I’m out here is to tell the people and the voters in the town to town, that these are your true, your true Conservative candidates,” he said.
Fox announced the Conservative Party’s endorsement of Susan Siegel for reelection as town supervisor, Nick Bianco for reelection to town council, and political newcomer Dave Paganelli also for town council. He also reaffirmed the party’s endorsement of Gary Raniolo for Yorktown Town Justice, Terrence Murphy, John Testa and Peter McCliffe for County Legislator.
“We need people in the political arena that are going to do what’s right for the citizens of this town, other towns, the county. If we don’t have them we’re lost,” Fox said. “I don’t have to speak out and tell you that the news has been saying, I don’t have to tell anybody about the economy, but putting these people back in office, keeping them in office, is what we need to do to move our economy forward, our political views forward, and what we stand for forward.”
At the beginning of his speech, Fox said he was there for two reasons, one being the endorsements, the other to “deal with” opportunity of ballot issues.
“We have two individuals in Yorktown down here, Mr. (Michael) Grace and Mr. (Tom) DeChiaro … It sickens me to even say their name, to be very honest with you. I’m a straight shooter and I’m going to tell you like it is,” Fox said.
Fox said that DeChiaro and Grace are not true Conservative candidates, and they did not interview with the Conservative party to become Conservative candidates. Grace is running for supervisor against Siegel, and DeChiaro is seeking a position on the Yorktown town board.
“They don’t give a damn about what the Conservative values are, what the Conservative views are. All they care about is being elected and think they’re going to become a politician,” Fox said. “Well, I’m here to tell you that (Siegel, Bianco, and Paganelli) are your true candidates, these are the ones running on the Conservative line. These are your true, true Conservatives. Anybody else coming before you is just playing a head game with you.”
Grace and DeChiaro both reiterated that their platform is Conservative, and each said Fox had no place to accuse of them of not being truly Conservative, since he did not know them.
“In reality, Mr. Grace and myself are more conservative than the slate that they’ve selected, so I think it’s kind of comical that Mr. Fox would make that comment, it’s simply not true,” DeChiaro said.
DeChiaro said Fox, and the other Conservatives wouldn’t worry about a primary, since it gives the power to the voters, as he said, it should.
“Why are they so concerned about the primary? The primary puts the power into the hands of the Conservatives. In America, the voter is the person who should decide, not a committee. They should be thrilled that the voters are going to have a chance to decide,” he said.
Grace stressed that Fox doesn't know either candidate, but that he and DeChiaro are more Conservative than their endorsements.
"What’s really surprising, if Hugh Fox is going to get himself involved in the local town politics, he ought to make himself aware of who the players are and what they stand for, and find out who the real Conservatives are,” Grace said. He suggested Fox sponsor a primary debate, so that he and other voters can hear what the candidates actually have to say.
Grace and DeChiaro both said the Conservative endorsement slate was already decided before they could even be interviewed.
“If you look at the Conservative, the Independence, the Republican lines it’s the same people, and that’s why we filed OTB. It’s to break up the power of the political bosses that have been controlling the issues," Grace said.