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Katz, Gristina Battle Continues Into Eleventh Hour

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Incumbent Assembly member Steve Katz (R-Yorktown) and his challenger Dario Gristina (R-Putnam Valley) continued to trade jabs with each other just hours before Thursday's Republican primary.

A mailer endorsed by the Friends of Steve Katz and titled "Who Is Dario Gristina?" was sent to local voters Wednesday. The mailer cited an article by the New York Daily News that alleged Gristina was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in 1998.

The mailer also alleges that Gristina has helped "Liberal Democratic" candidates, with donations to Eliot Spitzer, Eliot Engle and Mike Kaplowitz. Gristina is pictured on the mailer with Democratic Congress member Charlie Rangel.

Gristina responded to the allegations late Wednesday with an automated phone call to voters.

"Let me tell you, these claims are all lies and distortions," Gristina said in the message. "For example, the picture of me and Charles Rangel was taken at a fundraiser, which was supporting a charity that I founded to help folks with mental illnesses. Attacking me one day before primary election is shameful and cowardly, and it speaks volumes about his character."

Katz and Gristina are competing in Thursday's primary for a chance to be on the general election ballot in November for the newly redrawn 94th Assembly District. The district includes Yorktown, Somers, Carmel, Putnam Valley, Southeast and Patterson.

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