All the Candidates Finally Meet on the Same Stage

PCNR debate draws big crowd

By Kevin E. Foley

For the first time in this 2011 election season all the candidates for Philipstown Town Supervisor and Town Board appeared together to share sometimes differing views and the occasional sharp-edged barb. The occasion was the Putnam County News and Recorder (PCNR) sponsored debate held in the Haldane Middle School cafeteria before an audience of about 135 people on Monday, Oct. 24.

Doug Cunningham, editor of the PCNR, moderated the debate after some brief introductory remarks from publisher Elizabeth Ailes. Roger Ailes, chairman of the national Fox News channel, sat near the rear of the room, mingling with candidates and audience members before and after the debate.

Incumbent Democratic Town Supervisor Richard Shea and his challenger, Republican Lee Erickson, each made opening statements [CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF SHEA STATEMENT] [CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF ERICKSON STATEMENT] and then later answered questions from PCNR reporters with timed answers and rebuttals. Erickson and his running mate Katie Giachinta DeMarco had previously declined debate invitations from and another from the League of Women Voters.

DeMarco and fellow challenger Democrat Dave Merandy, joined incumbents Democrat Nancy Montgomery and Republican Barbra Scuccimarra in answering questions on the town’s dirt roads, the infamous fire study and the town’s new zoning plan, among other issues.

Look for full coverage on of the candidates’ positions and remarks, along with additional video from the event, over the next few days. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Photos by M. Turton, Videos by K.E. Foley

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