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Peekskill Democrats Endorse Wagner Over Ball, GOP Still Waiting

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Despite many recent appearances in Peekskill, State Sen. Greg Ball (R,C–Patterson) is still waiting for an endorsement from a city political party.

Earlier this week, the Peekskill Democratic City Committee voted unanimously to endorse Democrat Justin Wagner of Cortlandt in the District 40 race.

"Peekskill voters are not fooled by Greg Ball's slick politics," said party chair Marina Ciotti. "We know Senator Ball stands against a woman's right to choose, against marriage equality and has done little to create jobs here in Peekskill.  We need new leadership in Albany that will be there for us when it counts.”

Wagner is a better fit for the city, Ciotti said.

"He is the right choice for Peekskill and not Tea Party Republican Greg Ball," Ciotti said.  "Justin will be a breath of fresh air from politics as usual in Albany and the Peekskill Democrats pledge our full support to Justin and his campaign."

Ball won in 2010 by a hair, with 51 percent of the vote over Democrat and Westchester County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers), but according to Ciotti he lost the city by a wide margin.

Brittany Oat, a representative from Ball’s campaign, said the state senator would continue to follow his agenda emphasizing job growth and tax relief regardless of endorsements. Oat touted the repeal of the MTA payroll tax, the new property tax cap and economic development grants that she said helped create local jobs as proof of Ball's progress in Albany.

"The Senator is focused like a laser on doing his job to help people, create jobs and lower our tax burden," Oat said. "There will be plenty of time for the campaign in the fall."

In addition to Wagner, come November, Ball might also face a primary with 99th District Assembly member Steve Katz of Yorktown. The two men campaigned together often during the 2010 election. However, recently, Katz has said he's considering seeking the 40th District seat.

On the other side of the aisle, Peekskill Republican Party Chair Vinnie Vesce said his party was waiting on county GOP leaders to conduct interviews with candidates before making any endorsements. Those interviews would be completed in the next few weeks, he said.

"Until that happens, the Peekskill committee is holding off on any endorsements," Vesce said.

Vesce said that while Ball made many appearances in the city this year, the Peekskill GOP was in no way involved in them.

"He has not contacted us prior to coming to the city, for whatever reason," Vesce said.  The GOP chair said he didn't see anything wrong with Ball being in the city, however.  "He represents this city, so it's great that he's here - it's not a bad thing."

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