DiCarlo Drops Out of Race

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Anthony_DiCarloEnding what looked to be one of September’s most intriguing primary contests, Legislator Anthony DiCarlo dropped out of the race for his District 9 seat after his Republican opponent, former District Attorney and Legislator Kevin Wright, took him to court over signatures on his designating petitions.
Wright challenged scores of DiCarlo’s signatures on both the Republican and Independence lines, filing a motion in Supreme Court on July 23 to get DiCarlo removed from the lines. The suit alleged a number of signatures on the petitions were false while many addresses listed were misleading or confusing, according to a press release from Wright.
The court rejected the latter claim but scheduled testimony regarding the signatures, Wright stated. On Aug. 1, DiCarlo told the court he wished to drop out of the race, citing personal reasons, according to Wright.
“Mr. DiCarlo did not elaborate on his personal reasons and I will not speculate about them believing he should be accorded appropriate privacy in that regard,” Wright stated. “I believe strongly that the integrity of our ballot process is essential to citizens confidence in our electoral system and I now look forward to the fall campaign as the Republican and the Conservative Parties’ candidate for County Legislator District 9 at the November 5th election.”
Calls to DiCarlo were not returned but Elections Commissioner Tony Scannapieco said the incumbent left the race to avoid a lengthy legal process.
“He didn’t want to have all the people who circulated his petitions or signed his petitions dragged into court,” Scannapieco said.
First elected in 2010 after serving on the Carmel Town Board, DiCarlo was already facing a difficult primary challenge, as Wright had the endorsement of the Republican Committee.
Wright will now face Democrat Bernie Kosberg in the Nov. 5 general election. DiCarlo’s exit deals a blow to Kosberg’s chances; since Wright received the Conservative line and with DiCarlo aiming for the Independence line, the stage was set for a three-way general election with Kosberg the lone Democrat. This might have been his best chance in a district which leans Republican.
Following DiCarlo’s exit, Kosberg put out a statement saying he had been looking forward to a three-way race.
“Mr. DiCarlo had a lot to answer regarding his role in a county government that is poorly managed, spends too much of our tax dollars unwisely, and has regularly ignored the voices of so many in the district,” Kosberg said. “It is unfortunate that the Putnam County Republican Party has chosen to cast aside an incumbent to bring back an old crony, Kevin Wright, who had served in the legislature for many years without distinction.”
Wright called Kosberg’s comments “unfortunate.”
“I was hopeful that there would be a positive exchange of ideas with Mr. Kosberg and hopeful that he would put out information about the positive things for Putnam County,” Wright said. “Or if he’s done nothing, then the positive things he hopes to do for Putnam County.”
At last Wednesday’s legislative meeting at the Historic Courthouse in Carmel Legislator Sam Oliverio, the legislature’s lone Democrat, called DiCarlo a “dear friend” and said he was distressed by the turn of events.
“When parents eat their children, soon, the family expires,” Oliverio said, citing an old saying. “I think what happened to Anthony is a real shame. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Wright responded by sending Oliverio a copy of his media release.
“I heard of your unusual Legislative comments last evening about the [District] 9 Legislative race and was surprised,” Wright said in an email to Oliverio along with the release. “Perhaps ‘eating our young’ can be explained another time but I hope the attached will help clarify matters for you and your interest in my race.”
Wright said taking DiCarlo to court was the only way to challenge signatures he believes were not legitimate, since the board of elections doesn’t make such determinations.
“I strongly believe that the integrity of the petition process is just as important at the integrity of the voting process on election day,” Wright told The Putnam Examiner. “They’re part and parcel of the same thing.”
District 9 encompasses parts of Mahopac.

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