The Northern Westchester Examiner

Katz to Leave Assembly; McDonough Officially Seeking Seat

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2014 NWE 0805 Steve KatzAs one incumbent announced his intention to not run for re-election, another candidate for the same seat officially kicked off her campaign last week in hopes of representing parts of Putnam and Westchester counties.

Assemblyman Steve Katz (R/Mohegan Lake), whose seat represents the 94th Assembly District, confirmed he is going to stick with a pledge to term-limit himself out of office after six years in New York’s legislative body. The outspoken lawmaker said he’s come to the “heartfelt conclusion” that it’s time to step down at the end of his current term that expires at the end of this year.

Within an hour of Katz’s announcement, Mahopac resident and Town of Carmel Councilwoman Suzi McDonough sent out a press release stating she is now a candidate for Katz’s seat. Previously, McDonough had formed an exploratory committee for the seat.

Calling himself a “citizen legislator,” Katz said he ran for office because he had a civic duty to make a change in his community and fight against the “political machine in Albany.”

Katz owns and runs a veterinarian clinic in the Bronx and has recently started a venture in Colorado where he founded a new company dedicated to selling cannabis-based treatments for animals. The company is called Therabis and is already producing three products for dogs and hired 20 employees within the first month.

Katz said he planned to start the business in Putnam, but erred against it because New York remains 50th in desirability to start a business.

As Katz was announcing his decision to step down, McDonough was officially entering her name as a candidate for the seat.

McDonough said she was entering the race after the response she received over the last several months was “overwhelming.” She stated she was looking forward to running a “positive campaign with a conservative message and bring the people’s voice to Albany.”

“Whether the incumbent is in or out, I am in this race to win it. Frankly, he seems to blow with the wind, and we are ready for any challenge,” McDonough said of Katz. “Should he choose not to run, I wish him all the best. The hard working voters of this district deserve a serious, conservative voice that is truly committed to public service for the right reasons.”

Putnam Republican Chairman Tony Scannapieco said there are two other Putnam Republicans in the district interested in the seat, but nothing has been finalized yet. There is also a Republican from Somers in Westchester who might be eying the seat, Scannapieco said.

As election season kicks into high gear later this year and interested candidates come forward to the Putnam Republican Committee to gain its endorsement, Scannapieco noted he isn’t sure how much support McDonough could garner because of her connection to controversial former New York State Senator Greg Ball, who retired from public life in 2014. Ball, now the CEO of his own consulting firm, is assisting with McDonough’s campaign.

“She doesn’t think she has a problem, she’s been told by a lot of us the problem is she’s affiliated with Greg Ball,” Scannapieco said, noting people are fed up with the way Ball ran campaigns, which included nasty mailers and fierce attacks.

Katz has also previously voiced his displeasure with McDonough running for the seat because Ball is working with her and even resulted in him reconsidering his pledge to term-limit himself out.

Instead, he’s following through on his pledge and urged others to limit how long they serve going forward.

“I have been outspoken about the implementation of term limits in our legislative body in order to eliminate corruption,” Katz said. “I am staying true to my word and will term limit myself out and set an example for the other members to follow.”

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