After weeks of speculation, Assemblyman Steve Katz (R-Yorktown) will officially announce on Monday that he will primary state Senator Greg Ball (R-Patterson) for the 40th Senate District seat, his spokesperson Ed Kowalski confirmed.
Katz, who was voted into office as the representative for the 99th Assembly District in 2010, made his consideration for the state Senate seat known back in February. He formed an exploratory committee and met with Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) before scheduling his official announcement.
While Katz had not been officially running, a series of robocalls, mass emails and Youtude videos from an anonymous source has been circulated throughout the district against Katz.
Last week, a robocall stated that Katz was hiding something from the public. It claimed “that Katz was hiding a dirty secret,” and that he should “come clean” and “release his record.”
Katz admits he has been arrested twice in his life but says he has never been convicted of a crime.
The Katz campaign has accused Ball’s campaign of being responsible for the call. Ball’s office has denied the charge.
During the 2010 campaign Katz and Ball were constant companions. They appeared together at press conferences and campaigned together as Katz ran for assembly and Ball ran for state senate.
Further details of Katz announcement will be available later on today.
With Katz out of the picture, there will be no incumbent running for the 99th Assembly seat. Two Republicans, Wolf Lawton of Mahopac and Dario Gristina of Putnam Valley, have already declared their candidacy in the race.
Gristina, a Putnam Valley resident, who announced his intention to run for New York Assembly in December, has an arrest record that includes soliciting a prostitute and driving while impaired, according to The Daily News.
In 1998, Dario Gristina was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in Manhattan, The Daily News reports. The article said that Gristina later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
The Daily News also reports that, in 2000, Gristina plead guilty to impaired driving.
The news came out after Gristina’s former wife, Anna Gristina, was indicted on Monday in Manhattan for running a brothel on the Upper East Side.
Gristina has been unavailable for comment. It is unknown whether he intends on remaining in the race.
Carmel Town Councilman Frank Lombardi of Mahopac said that he would be willing to consider a run if Katz left the Assembly race.
Democratic candidate Justin Wagner of Croton announced his intention to run for the state senate set last fall. He has garnered the endorsements of the Putnam Democratic Committee and several northern Westchester Democratic committees.