KJ blocs split on Assembly, Town Board

Kiryas Joel’s two political parties steered their respective voting blocs to different candidates today in races for the vacant Assembly District 98 seat and an empty Monroe Town Board seat, making the outcome of those races more unpredictable.

Anash — the political arm of the village’s main faction — backed Democrat Elisa Tutini in the Assembly race, while the opposition group known as the Kiryas Joel Alliance supported Republican Karl Brabenec. Brabenec and Tutini, both of whom were supported by both parties in crowded September primaries for the seat, are engaged in a three-way battle for Assembly with United Monroe candidate Dan Castricone, who has been voicing opposition to the proposed expansion of Kiryas Joel.

In a race for a councilman seat the Town Board left empty all year, Anash supported Democrat Blanca Johnson, while the Alliance backed Dennis McWatters, United Monroe’s candidate. There is no Republican candidate in the race.

Anash endorsed all three Democratic incumbents running for statewide offices — Gov. Andrew Cuomo (who met with village leaders in Kiryas Joel on Sunday), Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli — while the Alliance made no endorsements in those races. Nor did the Alliance back any candidate for New York’s 18th Congressional District seat or for the state Senate’s 39th District. ¬†Anash directed its votes to Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Republican Sen. William Larkin Jr.

As usual, workers hired by each party are distributing sample ballots with highlighted candidate boxes outside the village’s main polling station on Forest Road. But there is something new this year: members of the United Monroe citizens group are handing out their own sample ballots with the names of their two candidates — Castricone and McWatters — highlighted.


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