County Legislator candidate Michael Smith (R-Greenburgh) is vying for the chance to show that he is the most independent candidate in District 3.
On Friday at North Castle Town Hall, Smith announced that he has gathered enough signatures to primary incumbent John Nonna (D-Pleasantville) via a write-in camapign to earn the Independence Party line for District 3. The Independence Party had endorsed Nonna for the line.
District 3 encompasses the Town of Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Pleasantville and parts of Greenburgh and Sleepy Hollow. The primary will be held on September 13.
“The response we received in gathering the petitions was enthusiastic,” Smith, who has the Republican and Conservative lines, said. “I would welcome the opportunity to add a third party line in November’s election.”
Smith claimed that party bosses made a backroom deal to hand the line to Nonna. While he had no actual evidence of any backroom deal, he pointed to the fact that 15 Democratic candidates for county legislator had received the Independence Party’s endorsement versus two Republicans.
“My core beliefs represent the true platform and policy of the Independence Party,” Smith said. “John Nonna’s do not.”
Julio Cavallo, the county chairman of the Independence Party, strongly dismissed Smith’s claim and said that they gave Nonna the endorsement because he was the best candidate.
“I’m surprised [Smith] talks the way he does,” Cavallo said. “Backroom deals- that makes me laugh. We interviewed about 220 people, Michael Smith doesn’t even ring a bell to me. We try to pick the best candidate, we do that every year. John Nonna was the best candidate. That’s the way it goes.”
Nonna also refuted that he got the endorsement via a backroom deal, pointing out that the Republicans running for office in Mt. Pleasant got nominations from the Independence Party.
“That is a low blow to call it a backroom deal,” Nonna said. “The last two times I got their nomination, I had to interview them and meet them.”
Read more in the August 16-22 edition of The Examiner.