O’Donnell set to challenge Maloney after GOP rival steps aside

Orange County Legislator James O’Donnell got the Republican Party’s endorsement this week to challenge Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney after fellow Republican candidate Jarred Buchanan stepped aside without a vote by GOP committee members gathered in Poughkeepsie.

Buchanan’s concession clears the GOP field for O’Donnell, a retired police commander and former deputy Orange County executive who has been on the Legislature for a year.

Fewer than 100 Republican committee members from New York’s 18th Congressional District – all of Orange and Putnam counties and parts of Westchester and Dutchess – had met at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel on Wednesday to vote on endorsing O’Donnell or Buchanan. Both candidates had agreed in advance to abide by the party’s choice and not run against one another in a primary on June 26. Buchanan, a 34-year-old New York City police officer from Putnam County, said Friday that he went there expecting to compete for party votes, but withdrew his name without a contest at the suggestion of his party chairman.

Maloney, a Cold Spring Democrat, has represented the district since 2013 and had almost $3 million in his campaign coffers at the beginning of the year. He announced on Thursday that he had gotten the endorsement of the Independence Party, giving him an important third-party ballot line for the November election.

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    Chris McKenna

    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full

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