The Northern Westchester Examiner

Peekskill Mayoral Candidate Armed with Large War Chest

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Frank Catalina
Frank Catalina

Unlike Yorktown, where the incumbent supervisor has a substantial campaign bank account, the challenger in the City of Peekskill mayoral race has built up a large war chest with more than $36,000 in contributions.

According to reports filed in July with the Westchester County Board of Elections, Republican Frank Catalina, who is looking to unseat three-term Democratic Mayor Mary Foster, received 48 contributions totaling $36,296 since throwing his hat in the ring, including 27 $1,000 donations.

Many of Catalina’s generous financial backers are local contractors and businesses, such as J&G Auto Sales of Westcheser, Seekircher Steel Window Repair Corporation,Metro-Aire, Inc., and Phil Miller of Highland Industrial Park, all of Peekskill; Hudson Valley Site Management Corporation, and Pizella Brothers, Inc. of Cortlandt; Westchester Industrial Complex, LLC of Buchanan; and Ben Cozzi Inc. Northern Construction, and MJD Contracting Corporation of Yorktown.

An attorney in Peekskill Catalina, 55, lives in Chapel Hill and is a 1975 graduate of Peekskill High School. He served as deputy corporation counsel for the city from 1982 to 1990, counsel to the Peekskill Housing Authority from 1992 to 1999 and corporation counsel from 2000 to 2001 under Mayor John Kelly.

Catalina’s lengthy involvement in the community includes being a Life Member of the Peekskill Community Volunteer Ambulance Corps, a member of the Salvation Army Board of Directors, a member of the Christopher Columbus Society, and Vice President of the Peekskill Rotary Club.

Financial reports also showed Catalina had $18,707 in expenses, leaving his campaign with $17,588 as of mid-July.

Meanwhile Foster, executive director at Grant Thornton, LLP, who served as a councilwoman prior to being elected mayor in 2007, reported no contributions or activity on her financial statements.

In an email reply, Foster stated she was “not surprised” by Catalina’s financial advantage in the early going, noting she had to raise as much money during her first year as a candidate.

As for her fundraising plans, Foster responded, “Right now focused on government business and in the past three campaigns I have mostly financed my own campaign.”

According to financial reports, Foster spent $18,664 on campaign expenses in 2007, 2009 and 2011.

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