Molinaro receives county GOP nod

Current Dutchess County Executive, Marcus Molinaro, center, is shown Thursday at the GOP annual Reagan dinner. He is running for New York state governor was the guest speaker at the Reagan Dinner. On the far right is Montgomery County GOP Chairwomen Rosemary Smith who endorsed his candidacy. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

FORT JOHNSON — The Montgomery County GOP annual Reagan Dinner Thursday was booming with supporters of Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro with the running theme of eliminating government corruption in New York.

Molinaro, who was the headline speaker of the dinner, announced his candidacy for governor of New York state on April 2 after much grassroot support from the Republican Party.

He was first elected to public office in his hometown Tivoli at the age of 18 in 1994. The next year he was elected as mayor at 19 years old — the youngest mayor in the country. He was the village mayor for 12 years.

“Those 12 years taught me a lot about public service and a real role of being a public servant that it’s about helping people, not about making a point, but making a difference,” Molinaro said.

He spent six years in the Dutchess County Legislature, five years in the New York state Assembly and for the last seven years he has been county executive.

Molinaro said he did not come from a political family. He said many times food stamps put food on their table. “I just started to volunteer in my hometown and I fell in love with the concept of making a difference and trying to help people” Molinaro said of getting interested in politics. “I was encouraged by residents of Tivoli to first run and the rest is history. I just take very seriously the responsibility of being a public servant.”

Molinaro said he is running for governor because he believes in the state of New York and believes in the people.

He said his number one goal, if to be elected as governor, would be to lower the cost of living.

“It’s too expensive to raise a family, to live, to make business in New York state,” Molinaro said. “I think we have to focus on the state’s responsibility to lower property taxes. I think it’s time we elect a governor who understands how difficult it is to live in New York.”

He also spend a lot of time advocating for those with special needs and developmental disabilities. He also has a daughter who has autism.

“When I say we need to make New York more accessible, it’s about making it more affordable and making sure people can survive in New York, but it’s also about breaking down barriers so those with developmental disabilities have the support and respect they deserve,” Molinaro said. “And for families who are caring for those with disabilities, know they have a government that cares about them and will work to make it easier for them to live more independently.”

Other speakers at the Reagan dinner included Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeff Smith who is running for county sheriff; Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort and Sen. George Amedore, who were all supporting Molinaro for governor and who all said they want the eliminate political corruption in New York state government.

Amedore said the Senate is in control and remain in control by the Republicans.

“We are the majority, we’re going to stay in the majority,” Amedore said. “Despite what you hear or see, and even this goofball governor we have going around the state of New York, is literally off the hinges right now trying to unite the Democrats.”

“This gentleman right here has a child younger than mine and he is making the sacrifice and he is going to be leaving his home for the next couple hundred of days, and represent our values and beat a guy, Andrew Cuomo, who doesn’t share our values,” said Jim Thompson who worked with Molinaro in the state Assembly. “He does care about the issues you care about.”

Molinaro said when Cuomo was first elected, he had hope he would “sweep in a new day.”

“But instead what we have is a new normal, a new normal of an abusive bloated, arrogant state government that is infected by a culture of corruption,” Molinaro said.

He said the state’s government has been acknowledged as the most corrupt in the country.

“That corruption cost us money,” Molinaro said.

By Patricia Older

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