Cronin, DiDonato-Roth to Force No. Castle GOP Primary for Town Board

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North Castle council members Diane DiDonato-Roth and John Cronin officially announced on Monday they would run for re-election and force a Republican primary in September against the party’s nominee Barbara DiGiacinto.

DiDonato-Roth and Cronin, who were elected in 2009, both remained noncommittal about their re-election plans for weeks. They agreed that a big consideration in their decision was to make sure that Supervisor Howard Arden had running mates who shared a similar vision.

Cronin, 47, said that if the Republicans and Democrats had presented strong candidates to voters for this year’s council race he would have willingly stepped aside. Instead, he said he fears that plans that are already in motion to accelerate road repairs, save the Miller House and move it to Fountain Park, create more playing fields and recreational space and to continue to help the town remain on strong financial footing, would be abandoned.

“I’m hopeful that if Howard, Diane and I are re-elected we’ll get these things done,” Cronin said. “I’d be very happy if the Republicans and Democrats had nominated strong candidates so I could sit this one out.”

Cronin, who owns his own business, said he was also concerned about DiGiacinto’s candidacy because of the large amount of commercial properties she and her family own and how that could impact zoning decisions and other issues facing the board.

DiDonato-Roth, 54, a realtor, said she believes their three-and-a-half years of experience on the board gives them a leg up on DiGiacinto and Democratic nominees Jose Berra and Barry Reiter. She pointed to her pro-business approach while paying attention to quality-of-life issues through her involvement with the Beautification and Recycling committees.

“I believe in experience, I believe in knowledge to get things done,” she said.

The councilwoman also said she was fearful that if she didn’t run then outspoken developer and town resident Michael Fareri, who at recent meetings has become increasingly critical of her, Cronin and Arden, could exercise too much influence over the other candidates.

DiGiacinto said that she respected the right for Roth and Cronin to force a primary. However, she criticized Arden for being supportive of petition signatures that are being collected for him, Roth and Cronin.

“Howard Arden and I are the Republican nominees and despite my differences with Howard Arden, I have collected signatures for the entire Republican slate which, of course, includes Howard Arden,” DiGiacinto said in a statement. “In my opinion, it is yet another example of how these three individuals continue to operate under their own set of rules.”

A message left for North Castle Republican Chairwoman Anita Cozza late Monday afternoon was not returned.

While their focus is on the Republican primary, DiDonato-Roth said she and Cronin haven’t closed the door on forcing a primary on the Conservative and Independence party lines. DiGiacinto also received the endorsement from those two parties. However, with just over two weeks before petitions must be submitted, DiDonato-Roth said they may not have enough assistance or time to get the additional signatures.

With the Republicans endorsing only one council hopeful in DiGiacinto, either Cronin or DiDonato-Roth are guaranteed a spot on the ticket unless another candidate surfaces.


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