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.”