Defeated Candidates to Stay Active in Mt. Pleasant

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Dr. Richard Gagliardi
Dr. Richard Gagliardi

Though they were routed in their first runs for public office on Election Day in Mount Pleasant, Dr. Richard Gagliardi and Jane Abbate said they would continue to be active in the town.

Incumbent Republican town Supervisor Joan Maybury and fellow GOP-Conservative Party town board incumbents Carl Fulgenzi and Mark Rubeo were overwhelmingly reelected on Tuesday.

Jane Abbate
Jane Abbate

According to the Westchester County Board of Elections, with all of the districts reporting, Maybury, a two-year incumbent seeking her first full elected term as supervisor, had 72 percent of the vote, while Gagliardi, a Registered Republican running on the independent We the People line, had the other 28 percent. Maybury was appointed to supervisor in January 2010 to replace Robert Meehan, who became Westchester County attorney.

Rubeo, received 43 percent of the vote and Fulgenzi received 37 percent. Abbate, a registered independent running on the Mount Pleasant Now line, received 20 percent.

On Election Night at Tino’s restaurant in Hawthorne, Gagliardi addressed about 40 of his supporters to concede defeat. “Obviously, the town is not ready. And if it isn’t ready, that’s not our fault. We did what we had to do,” Gagliardi said. “If anybody knows anything at all about me, you know I do not quit. I’m like a pit bull on a pork chop and I’m ready to put some baked potatoes on the side of it.”

Gagliardi said he would continue being a watchdog on town government. “There’s still going to be no nonsense in this town. And everything that they do from now on, going forward, is going to be scrutinized,” he said. “And if they get out of hand and they start to get into the extortion end of it, like they have in the past, and that’s what you call it when you charge somebody $2,000 or $3,000 a month to stay in business, that has to stop because if they’re doing something wrong then you close the business down.”

If nothing is done to stop the town from seeking money from some business owners, Gagliardi said he was willing to go to the FBI. “There’s two ways to stop me – you can stop me going into the Bureau or you can assonate me,” he said. “I am not saying this out of anger. I am saying this out of the injustice that has been done to the people of this community and the business owners of this community.”

“They did do everything they could to try to stop us,” Gagliardi told his campaign supporters. “I don’t know who it was who decided to come and threaten me.” Gagliardi said he would not move as a result of threats.

For her part, Maybury explained on Election Night at the Casa Rina restaurant why she felt that she won by a large margin. “The public has an uncanny ability to know what’s best for them. And when they go and they vote they usually pick the right candidate. And that’s the American way,” she said.

Maybury criticized how Gagliardi conducted his campaign.  “I don’t think there were any issues in this campaign. I think it was Mr. Gagliardi fabricating issues, trying to get some press, quite honestly, using innuendo and misspeaking,” she said.

Maybury took issue with comments made by Gagliardi to his supporters. She denied that town government was engaging in extortion. “Mr. Gagliardi makes a lot of comments that nobody can figure out what their basis in reality is, whether it’s any comment based in local law or in local zoning code. I don’t that think Mr. Gagliardi is familiar with it or knows what the reality is and it’s fabricated,” Maybury said.

Maybury also said she was not aware of any threat made against Gagliardi. “Mr. Gagliardi has never been threatened. As a matter of fact, I’ve only met the man once or twice,” Maybury said. “No one in the Town ofMount Pleasantis ever threatened. If he believes that we can certainly talk about it.”

Maybury was gratified by her election. “I’m thrilled to death,” she said. “I think I’ve done a fine job. I look forward to doing more in the next two years.”

Abbate said on Nov. 9, “Of course, I’m disappointed” in not being elected. But despite her defeat, Abbate said we continue to be active with PleasaMount nt Today, the community organization she helped create in 2008. “We’re going to continue on,” she said.

One of the major factors in the Republican sweep of the town board elections was the involvement of Westchester County Executive andMount Pleasantresident Rob Astorino in the campaign of Republican Michael Smith in his race against Westchester County Legislator John Nonna. Astorino helped get out many Republicans who voted on a strict GOP party line inMount Pleasant, Abbate said.

Fulgenzi explained why he felt theMount Pleasantincumbents won by such a large margin. “I just think that people realized they knew what they had and they wanted to keep it,” he said. “I hope they realize that we are trying to do the right thing for the town. We didn’t come up with anything to attack our opponents on any issues. Our opponents attacked us basically on how they felt we were running things.”

Rubeo said a key to the GOP victories in town was the dedication of the town board members. “You can say you’re committed, but there’s a difference between saying it and actually being committed. You have to walk the walk,” he said. “We’ve demonstrated that to the community. It’s not about what you do during your campaign when you’re running for office. It’s about what you do on a day to day bass that matters to the people in this town.”


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