Calhoun will not seek Assembly re-election
BY JOHN SULLIVAN Times Herald-Record 5/28/12
BLOOMING GROVE —Amid intense public scrutiny for collecting her pension while still in office, Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun, R-Blooming Grove, has bowed out of the race for the newly formed 99th Assembly District – ending more than two decades in office and crea ting an opportunity for a new generation of candidates.
The assemblywoman did not return calls Sunday, but Chester Supervisor Steve Neuhaus, who works as a representative of the state’s Republican assembly minority, confirmed Calhoun relinquished her candidacy and endorsed Kyle Roddey, the mayor of Goshen.
The assemblywoman made the announcement during the Orange County Republican Committee’s vote to endorse a candidate Thursday.
Roddey, 26, won the party’s endorsement, leaving challengers Frank Fornario, supervisor of the Town of Blooming Grove; and a 21-year-old, Colin Schmitt, a college student and former political aide to Annie Rabbit; to make a bid for a Republican primary, which would be held in September.
Committees for Stony Point Republicans, as well as the committees for the Conservative Party in Orange County and Stony Point in Rockland County– also in the assembly district – have yet to endorse any candidate for the November election.
Roddey thanked the assemblywoman for her support, as well as her years of service to the region.
Fornario could not be reached for comment.
Schmitt, who has been endorsed by failed gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, appeared ready to continue to fight.
“Many have tried, but I have come out as the only person to stop Nancy Calhoun’s shenanigans and work to bring a respectable, capable representative to the Assembly,” he said in a statement released shortly after Calhoun’s departure.
“The fight is not yet over, though. We must assure a true Republican Conservative retains this seat, not Double Dipper Calhoun’s hand-picked successor.”
Many in the political world speculated on Calhoun’s political demise since it came to light she had filed for her pension of $58,503 a year, while also receiving her $79,500 assembly salary. A loophole that existed for the state’s longest-serving assembly and senate members makes it possible.
Republican state Senator Bill Larkin, now in his 33rd year of office, also filed for his pension while in office, under the same provision.
James Skoufis, a 24-yearold councilman for the Town of Woodbury, has received the Orange County Democratic Committee’s vote on the Democratic ticket, though former Blooming Grove Supervisor Larry Delarose has vowed to try and force a primary.
On Sunday, Skoufis took aim at Roddey’s support from Calhoun as she left.
“This just goes to show that I’m the only candidate in the race that represents a clear cut from the politics of Nancy Calhoun,” he said.
It is a sad thing to see Nancy go. She always fought for our 2nd Amendment rights and much more than most. Not only did she vote for us but she was one of the few who would always be counted on to take to the floor and add her voice to her vote. Her resignation is the best for all. Now we have to make sure that we support the pro-gun person to replace her.