SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. -- Standing with supporters in front of the entrance to Lewisboro’s town house, former state Assemblyman Robert Castelli announced a Republican primary bid for the state Senate seat in the 40th District.
Castelli, who will need petition signatures to force a primary, lost the backing of the Republican convention in Westchester and Putnam counties to Yorktown Councilman Terrence Murphy, who was endorsed by the current holder of the seat, Greg Ball, who is not seeking re-election.
Castelli, a Goldens Bridge resident, was critical of the short timing between Ball’s decision not to run for re-election, which was on Friday, May 16 and of Westchester’s convention, which was the following Monday, May 19. He explained that representatives from several towns sought a postponement for 10 days, an option that failed in a vote from other officials.
Talking to local reporters, Castelli touted his experience versus Murphy and Democratic candidate Justin Wagner. He also spoke favorably of support he has received from Democrats, mentioning those from predominately Democratic areas.
“You must serve apolitically,” he said when talking about bipartisanship.
Castelli was elected to his assembly seat in a February 2010 special election, holding it in the general election that November. He lost his re-election bid in 2012 to David Buchwald, who is the current incumbent.
A press release from Murphy’s campaign included critical commentary about Castelli.
“We've said from day one that the 40th District is THE pivotal seat in the Senate if we are to take a mathematical majority. The Governor has made his deal with the extremists and they are hell bent on flipping the Senate to the extreme left, which would raise taxes, kill job growth, provide amnesty to illegals and legalize recreational drug use. Sadly Bob Castelli is a creature of Albany and his record shows he is happy to do the bidding of Governor Cuomo, and the last time I looked we had liberal special interests to doing just that. Bob has yet to separate himself from the Cuomo regime, and honestly that should give everyone great concern.”
The press release added: “Bob is a good man, a veteran and a public servant, but by the end of his last term in Albany, New York was on a downward slide into the abyss we now find ourselves in: We pay the highest taxes in America and we are the least business friendly state in the nation.”