The Cayuga County Conservative Party reelected its officers and endorsed Lee Zeldin for governor last week.
The votes occurred at the party's reorganizational meeting on Oct. 5. David Pappert, who succeeded Greg Rigby as chairman in 2019, will continue to serve in that role. The officers reelected to their posts include Andrew Sheridan (vice chairman), Kathy Magill (secretary) and Richard Gagliardi (treasurer).
Other members of the executive committee include Dale Bush, who remains city chairman. The party has six regional directors: Thomas Ambrose, Andrew Cuddy, Bruce Langerlan, Bradley Littlefield, Hans Pecher and Victoria Shaw.
"Since 1962, the Cayuga County Conservative Party has identified, endorsed and supported candidates who cherish Conservative values and strive for smaller government, more freedom, the protection of human life, and our Second Amendment rights," Pappert said. "It is an honor to continue to serve as chairman as we continue to strengthen our party."
The Conservatives also formally endorsed Zeldin, a Long Island congressman, for governor. Zeldin is the front-runner for the Republican and Conservative nominations. There are other candidates in the race, including Rob Astorino — the former Westchester County executive — and Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
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But it's Zeldin who has emerged as the favorite among Republican and Conservative leaders. The Cayuga County Conservative Party's leadership, including Pappert, endorsed Zeldin in April. The executive committee backed him in June.
In explaining why the party endorsed Zeldin, Pappert said one-party control of state government "has proven disastrous."
"We have suffered the unnecessary deaths of many of our most vulnerable through horrific public health executive orders, and the humiliation of a governor resigning in disgrace," Pappert continued. "Governor Hochul has proven herself equally unsatisfactory, appointing 'defund the police' supporters, demonstrating open hostility to pro-life and Second Amendment values, and even contemplating legalizing prostitution.
"New York state needs a governor with outstanding character and qualifications, and that candidate is Lee Zeldin."
The Conservative Party is one of two minor parties — Working Families is the other — with automatic ballot status in New York. There are 162,330 registered Conservative Party voters in New York and 1,402 in Cayuga County, according to the state Board of Elections.
Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.