MAHOPAC, N.Y.— County Legislator Dini LoBue said that despite not being nominated by the Republican Party at its caucus earlier, she still plans on gathering enough names on a petition that will put her on the ballot for a GOP primary this fall.
LoBue, the incumbent from District 8, which covers Mahopac Falls and parts of Mahopac, lost the nomination to Amy Sayegh, president and executive director of Putnam Community Cares. LoBue defeated Sayegh for the nomination three years ago but lost by a 14-10 margin this time around.
New York State election law stipulates that if LoBue can garner signatures from 5 percent of registered Republicans, she would force a primary with Sayegh.
LoBue said she is confident she can do that.
“People know my record and I am confident I have the same support now as I did when I defeated [Sayegh] in 2014,” she said.
LoBue can start gathering signatures June 6 and must have the completed petition handed in by July 10.
LoBue said that losing the nomination to Sayegh was a “carefully engineered scheme” laid out by County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the Republican Committee. LoBue has been known to butt heads with Odell and her administration over controversial issues such as the senior center project at the Butterfield property in Cold Spring and county plans for a cell tower near the Airport Park soccer fields in Mahopac.
“[Odell] was controlling the votes in the committee,” LoBue contended. “It’s not really a secret. People supporting Sayegh have private interests in the county to protect. If all these ideas had merit what would be the problem with discussing them in public? It just shows there is a problem.”
Tony Scannapieco, Jr., chair of the Republican Committee said there was no orchestrated scheme to take the nomination away from LoBue. He said committee members voted their conscience and LoBue’s defeat was of her own making.
“I tried to talk to her time and time again, but she wouldn’t listen,” he said. “It’s OK to disagree, but you can’t call people names. This is sour grapes, that’s all. I wasn’t involved [in swaying votes]; I stayed on the side. If I was involved she would have lost by a lot more than she did.”
Odell, too, disputed LoBue’s claims that she manipulated committee votes
“I didn’t call one person on that committee,” the county executive said. “It’s an unfair comment for her to make. I would suggest that she stick to the issues. I am not her opponent; Amy Sayegh is running against her, not me. Her accusations are completely unfounded and baseless.”
LoBue, who has already served three terms as a county legislature, said she believes it is important to have a voice of dissent in the legislative body.
“If I didn’t care deeply about the party and its principles, I would not endure the unjustified opposition to me by the establishment,” she said. “It saddens me that the current direction of the party does grave injury to the party and to the people that it’s supposed to represent. The people elected me because I upheld those principles and I expect to be re-elected.”