Party bosses repudiated in record turnout
ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES
What do you get when Conservative Party bosses endorse a liberal Democrat over a qualified Conservative Party member in a Stony Point Conservative primary election?
Well, if you add on a healthy serving of old-fashioned hard campaign work, what you get is a total blowout in favor of the real Conservative. Tuesday’s primary election in Stony Point proved that.
Stony Point supervisor candidate Dylan Skriloff took it to incumbent Democrat Geoff Finn in the campaign’s first official electoral test of 2013, beating the Democrat by more than two to one. With all ballots counted Tuesday night, the challenger led by a count of 67-29. Six or so absentee ballots are also expected to come in for Skriloff, bringing the final margin to approximately 72 percent of the vote.
Though Finn is a lifelong Democrat, he has enjoyed a cozy relationship with Conservative leaders since taking office as a councilman in 2005, gaining their endorsement every time he’s run for office. Leaders of the Conservative Party, including Stony Point Conservative Chairman Ed Keegan, sided with Finn against Skriloff due to this cozy relationship.
The rank and file would have none of it in 2013, however.
Among the reasons cited by the electorate for voting for Skriloff: the fact they are sick of cross endorsements of Democrats, such as Finn and Christopher St. Lawrence, by Conservative Party leadership; a need for a change from the status quo of Stony Point politics; Skriloff’s advocacy for the rights of gun owners and all residents following the assault against decency by gun-map editors at rival newspaper the Journal News; and the simple fact that Skriloff is a member of their party, while his opponent is not.
The Conservative Party has 309 registered voters in Stony Point, but commands about 400 votes, or about 10 percent of the turnout, in an average election. In fact, in a majority of Stony Point elections, the Conservative Party line represents the swing vote. In 2011, statistics clearly show that GOPer William Sherwood would have been reelected if he had the backing of the Conservative Party, who did back him in 2009.
Of the 309 registered Conservatives, about 25 have moved out of town, making the actual number closer to 285. “To turn out close to 40 percent of eligible voters in a minor party primary is a major feat,” Skriloff said. “Consider this: only 14 percent of registered Democrats voted in this week’s county executive primary. And in 2011, the fate of the entire Stony Point supervisor election was determined by a paltry Conservative caucus of only 65 or so party members.”
This is the first election Skriloff has appeared in and he and a small group of volunteers ran the Conservative campaign without professional campaign assistance. Skriloff already gained GOP and Independence Party backing earlier in the campaign season. Several GOPers helped with final get out the vote operations, ensuring the total blowout victory.
“I look forward to debating Geoff Finn on the issues important to Stony Pointers over the course of the next eight weeks,” Skriloff said, adding, “The lines have been drawn and the battle has begun. May the best man win!”
It’s game on for Election 2013 in Stony Point!
Note – Skriloff is the editor-in-chief of this newspaper.