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Astorino Gets a Challenger From His Right

Kurt Colucci announces he is running for Westchester County Executive. He and incumbent Rob Astorino exchange words on Nazi-themed Facebook posts by Colucci's father.

A New Rochelle man who has devoted his time to helping the Tea Party movement has entered the race for Westchester County Executive, arguing that incumbent Rob Astorino has not done enough on taxes and spending.

Kurt Colucci, 36, announced his campaign at a Friday press conference in White Plains, at the entrance for the office for the Westchester County Board of Elections. He is seeking the Conservative Party ballot line, he told reporters, but not the Republican line. Colucci added that he may also seek the line for the Independence Party. After the press conference, he went into the office to file his paperwork.

Colucci, who said he is a project manager for a mechanical engineering company in the area, is particularly concerned with taxes, likening today's relationship with the people and the government over taxation to slavery. Supporting his beliefs, Colucci wrote his own book, called A Taxslaves Manifesto.

“He promises to stop the tax madness and there's still tax madness," he said about Astorino, a Mount Pleasant Republican who has been vocal about his intention to keep property taxes from escalating.

Colucci, who described himself to the press as a "conservative libertarian," said that he has been involved with area's Tea Party movement, and supported Astorino in his last election in 2009.

Colucci also feels that Astorino has not stood up enough to the state government, which the current county executive has berated for passing along unfunded mandate costs, such as employee pension obligations. Asked about his approach to governance, Colucci stressed that he would have a dialogue on the issue. He also cited his experience in negotiating with people on behalf of his employer as something that can help in politics.

Astorino's campaign sent out a press release blasting Colucci, and distributed screen shots of his father's Facebook page, which has images posted that liken Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Nazis.

"Serious candidates for public office must reject the politics of extremism, and for Mr. Colucci that includes the deplorable imagery and language being promulgated by his father online," stated spokeswoman Jessica Proud. She added, "Until that is done, we will not dignify Mr. Colucci's candidacy with a comment. There is no room in Westchester County for this type of hatred."

Colucci, speaking with Patch, said: "They're just trying to make a story where there is none." He noted that his father's opinions are not his own.

Astorino, elected in 2009 by defeating longtime Democratic incumbent Andrew Spano, is up for re-election this November. Aside from Colucci, who intends to make a primary challenge for the Conservative line, three Democrats have announced their own bids. They are county Board of Legislators Chairman Kenneth Jenkins (D-Yonkers), county Legislator Bill Ryan (D-White Plains) and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.

Bob Zahm February 23, 2013 at 08:21 PM
Entertaining, Regina, that you think awarding a contract to operate Playland is a disposal. Are you by any chance one of Boss Jenkens' supporters? Astorino's actually trying to bring county spending (and taxes) under control.
Regina Smiley February 23, 2013 at 09:38 PM
No, Mr. Zahm, I am a long time resident of Westchester County and don't want to see Playland's footprint reduced by half and 30% of the rides gone. I love Playland and I am a big fan of the world renowned Kentucky Derby and other vintage rides. Astorino told me years ago that the biggest mistake Westchester made was to allow the union workers in and that he could not wait to get rid of it and called it a money pit. He does not care about saving it, he made that crystal clear. This park could be awarded to another company who would keep it as is, but it seems that the Sustainable Playland company is Astorino's first choice - the company that would destroy it. If you had actually read the petition from Change.org, you would know the facts and not be so quick to judge.
John Fitzgerald February 24, 2013 at 02:52 AM
So why is posting pics of Nanny Bloomberg and Andio Cuomo as Nazis hateful? Because Astorino approves of gun grabbing and baby killing? What a public relations nightmare for good old Ned McCormack, fresh off the Westhelp Fiasco.
Joe Malichio February 25, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Joe Malichio 12:15 pm on Monday, February 25, 2013 And what nut tree are you from, Tom? The one that thinks that Andy Spano overseeing 500 MILLION in spending increases over his 12 years was nothing to quip about? Earth to Tom: we live in the most expensive county in the country. That is the biggest problem we have. End of story. Government only serves the rich and the corporations? Who do you think pays the county's despicable tax bills? Guys like you? What an embarrassing post. You should hide your name next time. Astorino isn't looking to dismantle county government... but... since you mentioned it....... maybe we don't need a county government? Many counties around the country survive without a county government. Look at Fairfield County. They do just fine... and will lure me and my tax $ there soon enough.
Lanning Taliaferro February 25, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Hi, that was not a stock photo, it was a screengrab of the controversial Facebook post. We have removed it due to complaints.

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