Latimer Running for State Senate and War of Words Begins
20 Mar, 2012
By Polly Kreisman
Assemblyman George Latimer, Rye Democrat, may not have voted for the re-configured State Senate districts, as he told us last week, but he’s going to run for the seat being vacated by longtime Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer.
Latimer announced the run in a letter that went out to district leaders this week, which, according to LoHud, reads:
“The changes we need – the changes I have fought for all my life – involve sacrifice from everybody, not just from ‘the other guy’,” Latimer wrote. “Property taxes are too high, and I have worked hard to address that major worry many of us face; it always comes up as the #1 local issue homeowners are concerned about.”
At least two Republicans have announced their intention to run for the seat: Bob Cohen, a New Rochelle businessman who was narrowly defeated by Oppenheimer in 2010; and Diane DiDonato-Roth, a North Castle councilwoman.
Cohen spokesman Bill O’Reilly responded:
“We welcome Mr. Latimer into this race, but find it head-scratching, frankly, that he would bring up property taxes in his announcement. Westchester families pay the highest property taxes in America because of what George Latimer did as a county legislator and as an assemblyman. He and the other career politicians are directly responsible for the staggering property taxes Westchester families pay today. On top of that, Mr. Latimer voted against last year’s historic property tax cap vote and he went MIA for Governor Cuomo’s pension reform vote last week that will ease costs on local governments. We look forward to discussing all these issues at length throughout this campaign.”
Latimer spokesman Brian Hegt:
Bill O’Reilly is a mouthpiece for the Senate Majority who has once again proven that the misrepresentation of facts is the only way they can hold onto their gerrymandered majority. Here’s the truth: George Latimer worked with the Governor to establish the lowest individual income tax rates in decades and repeal the MTA Payroll Tax for Small Businesses. In 2009, he voted against the State budget, which included a series of taxes and he also opposed the soda tax and entertainment tax. As Chairman of the County Board of Legislators, property taxes decreased for 3 years consecutively while George was in that position. We thank Mr. O’Reilly for his warm reception into this race and look forward to debating the FACTS, with Mr. Cohen, Ms. Roth or Mr. Terenzi, whoever the Republicans choose to nominate.