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Campaign Mailing Draws Criticism from U.S. Senator

A closely-watched county executive race in the Hudson Valley has one of New York’s U.S. Senators reacting to what Democrats say is a misleading campaign mailing.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer at the end of October endorsed fellow Democrat and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson in the race for Westchester County executive. Schumer did so standing alongside Bramson in Yonkers. Last week, the campaign of incumbent Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino sent a mailing with a photo of Schumer and Astorino, with a quote from Schumer that reads: “We work very well together in a real bipartisan way”. Below the quote it reads: “Senator Chuck Schumer on Rob Astorino, Westchester Jewish Council Breakfast” and the quote is dated 4/12/13. Bramson accuses Astorino of pretending to have Schumer’s endorsement.

And Schumer decided to do something about it. He recorded a robo call for Bramson. Here’s how it starts:

In a statement, a Schumer spokeswoman adds that the Astorino campaign’s mailing was underhanded, dishonest and done completely without Senator Schumer’s knowledge. Here is the end of Schumer’s robo call.

William O’Reilly, a campaign spokesman for Astorino, in a statement says, quote, "County Executive Astorino has had a good and bipartisan relationship with Senator Schumer, Comptroller DiNapoli, and many other Democrats. Their documented public quotes of praise for the county executive reflect that. It's unfortunate that partisanship has to come back into play in these final hours of the race, but we won't hold it against them after Election Day. There is a time for politics and a time for governing, and governing begins again on Wednesday." End quote.

Bramson, however, believes he will emerge the winner.

A different piece of Astorino campaign literature touts Astorino’s bipartisanship, and includes quotes from four Democrats, including New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and two Westchester County legislators.  A statement from DiNapoli says he, too, wants to set the record straight, that the Republican campaign literature misleads the voters of Westchester County into questioning who he is supporting for county executive. DiNapoli supports Bramson. So does former President Bill Clinton.

Astorino is seeking re-election to a second term. He upset incumbent Democrat Andrew Spano in 2009. Earlier this year, Astorino was floated as a potential candidate to challenge New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the 2014 election.

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