Conservative Party Announces Slate for Town Board Positions

Sapeta, Erickson seek council slots; supervisor candidate opts not to run

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong

The Philipstown Conservative Committee on Monday (Sept. 23) revealed the party’s candidates for Philipstown Town Board council slots in the Nov. 5 town election. The party tapped Cathy Sapeta and Lee G. Erickson, who is also running on the Republican ticket, as their choices. The news came in a press release from Keith C. Anderson, who chairs the committee.

Although the Conservatives chose their slate at a caucus Sept. 7, they waited to release the names until after Sept. 20, the date by which those selected had to accept, or refuse, a nomination. A third potential candidate, a college student chosen as the Conservative candidate for supervisor, declined the nomination. That leaves incumbent Supervisor Richard Shea, a Democrat, running unopposed for re-election, since the Republicans likewise are not fielding a candidate.

Employed as a certified teacher, Sapeta, 50, a native of New Rochelle, previously worked in business technology sales and management and holds two masters degrees, one of them an MBA. Her experience includes serving as a sales manager, marketing director, and neighborhood association chair. At present, she is Mercy College’s ambassador to the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education. Locally, she has been involved with the West Point Ski Patrol, Chamber of Commerce, Audubon Society, and at Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church as a religious education teacher and annual fund-raiser participant. She also has run marathons and sung with the Hudson Lyric Opera.

According to the Conservative Party, she seeks election to the Town Board “to introduce conservative solutions to town problems under honest leadership” and believes “her real-world business experience and education, combined with work with young people, makes her uniquely qualified for this position.” A resident of North Highlands, she is married to Kenn Sapeta and has a campaign Facebook page: Cathy Sapeta.

Her Facebook page says she “would present an eye-opening Conservative perspective in a position currently occupied by only Democrats.”

Erickson, 47, ran unsuccessfully for supervisor against Shea in 2011. A small-business entrepreneur and lifelong Philipstown resident, he lives in Garrison with his wife Cristin and two children, and operates a wood-working shop. He coaches children’s sports teams as a volunteer and also is involved in emergency services. The Conservative Party termed him “a leading light in local and county politics.” Erickson said he is running again for office because “together, we have to move away from endless discussion and towards responsible results in order to ensure a better Philipstown.” He, too, has a campaign Facebook page: Lee Erickson.

On it, he promotes “common sense solutions” and says he shares residents’ frustrations “with how government works. We are frustrated by the same issues and problems year after year going unsolved. The time is now for a better Philipstown.”

Keith Anderson, who chairs the Philipstown Conservative Committee and announced the slate in a news release, said the candidate who chose not to run for supervisor is 21-year-old North Highlands resident Robert Califano. The party said Califano, a senior at Marist College, cited the constraints of his college schedule, demands of  employment in I.T.-networking, and the relatively short time period before the election as reasons for declining to run.

At a forum led by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef in February, a Marist student who gave his name as Robert Califano objected to New York’s tighter gun control law, passed after the December 2012 massacre of school children and faculty in Newtown, Conn. “Why should I be denied the right to buy an assault rifle?” he asked, claiming that when written the Second Amendment assured the public that “we were able to have weapons on an equal basis with the government.”

3 thoughts on “Conservative Party Announces Slate for Town Board Positions

  1. I am not writing this as the chairman of the conservative party’s daughter, or as a registered Republican, but as a citizen of Philipstown who is absolutely appalled by the ending paragraph of this article. I do not understand why a statement on the Second Amendment given by Robert Califano, a man who is established to not be on the conservative party ticket, had to be put in this article.

    The statement obviously had nothing to do with anything in the article, and was put there for the sole purpose of putting the views of the journalist into what is now a subjective article as opposed to what should have been a completely objective piece. Do they all support their Second Amendment rights to purchase weapons as they please? Yes. Just as every other person reading this probably supports their right to freedom of speech the same way I am as I write my review of this article.

    So in short, just because a person wants to support a right that is protected by the U.S. Constitution does not mean that a journalist who clearly has an opposing viewpoint should twist the context of the comment in order to make another political party look incompetent based on their own agenda.

  2. I could not agree more with Kasey Anderson. My son has always been interested in American history and supports the Second Amendment. However, this is not why he was nominated. If you really looked into his background you would have found he is a model citizen who has won the respect of his peers, teachers and other adults he has known with his intelligence, character and kindness. That is why he was nominated for such a position at age 21.

  3. I also agree with the above comments from these intelligent ladies. That last paragraph was completely uncalled for. I see you’re starting to slam my brother before he even decides to run for office. You make it sound like he is a heartless righty who didn’t care about the victims of the Newtown Massacre and just wants his guns. You forgot to mention how at that meeting in February, Robert asked Assemblywoman Galef this question: “Do you think the NY SAFE Act would have prevented the Newtown tragedy?” That is a very fair and thought-provoking question — the kind of question our future leaders should consider.

    Your final paragraph had absolutely no place in this article, but even if you wanted to bring in something unrelated, you could have done so honestly by including Robert’s actual question instead of his follow-up points. Journalists have the ethical obligation to tell the truth, and you failed here.