Pledges to make ‘people before politics’ real
By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong
A bipartisan if predominately Republican crowd filled a Cold Spring restaurant Wednesday night (Nov. 28) to cheer District 1 Legislator-Elect Barbara Scuccimarra, who pledged to follow her campaign slogan of “people before politics” and put the public good before partisanship in the Putnam County Legislature.
Scuccimarra, a Republican and former member of the Philipstown Town Board, defeated Democrat Steve Rosario in the Nov. 6 election. She greeted supporters at a “Victory Celebration” at Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill. Those joining in the wine and light buffet supper (at $75 a person) included Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell — on her second visit to Cold Spring in two nights; Libby Pataki, county tourism director; incumbent District 1 Legislator Vincent Tamagna, leaving after 18 years in the job; Democratic and Republican town officials from Putnam Valley, where Scuccimarra grew up; former Philipstown Supervisor Bill Mazzuca; Kevin McConville, unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Putnam County sheriff in 2009, and Bill Bujarski, usually seen in Cold Spring as the building inspector and part-time police officer but attending in his capacity as vice chairman of the Putnam Valley Republican Committee.
“This has been amazing; the whole experience has been amazing,” Scuccimarra said. She acknowledged that in November 2011, when she lost her bid for re-election to the Town Board, she felt “devastated.” But, encouraged by Libby Pataki and others, she said she decided to not give up on elected service and ran this year for legislator — with far different results. She credited her election committee and supporters, across party lines.
Mazzuca went door-to-door with her in Philipstown, and she got similar backing from counterparts in Putnam Valley. (Part of Putnam Valley is in District 1.) “It is people before politics,” Scuccimarra told the gathering. “And I’m going to carry that line the next three years” and for however many years after her first term the electorate agrees she should serve, she said. “I will be the best county legislator this district has ever seen.”
Odell declared that, from a county government perspective, “we’re really, really excited to have Barbara” coming to Carmel. “We’re building this really great, strong team. Everybody knows the most important thing is to serve the people of Putnam County,” Odell said. “It was extremely important for Barbara to win her race” to join that team and do what needs to be done, the county executive added. “She does so love her community. I am thrilled.”
Mazzuca told Scuccimarra that when he accompanied her in her campaigning, “it was pretty obvious what people thought of you. I saw the sincerity. It’s not easy to win in Philipstown as a Republican, but this demonstrates what Philipstown is all about.” He also pointed to Tamagna’s role and said that “it’s difficult, serving the public.” Philipstown residents “can be a pain in the ass,” he quipped. “I also congratulate Vinny for being smart enough to get the hell out. There is life afterwards.”