GOP CONTINUES LINCOLN DAY TRADITION

Over 450 attend annual Republican bash

PHOTOS BY PHIL COSTA

2014 Rockland GOP Dinner Photo #-17 2014 Rockland GOP Dinner Photo #-110 2014 Rockland GOP Dinner Photo #-113 2014 Rockland GOP Dinner Photo #-147 2014 Rockland GOP Dinner Photo #-168Every spring the Rockland County GOP throws a party like no other political event in the county. Known as the “Lincoln Day Gala,” the spring rite of passage has become something of a tradition and many in the political community look forward to it. This year the gala saw an impressive outpouring of 450 attendees at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Suffern.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino gave the keynote address, and promptly riled the crowd, dishing out red meat GOPisms effortlessly. Aside from being from right across the Hudson, Astorino has another Rockland connection: his campaign manager is Suffern High School graduate Mike Lawler. The native Rocklander has yet to see his 30th birthday, but has risen fast in the state’s GOP ranks.

Astorino is a natural political brother with Rockland’s own Ed Day. Both men seized demographically unlikely county executive victories for the GOP and are considered some of the best talent in the GOP system.

The Republicans honored businessman Richard Brega of Brega Transportation at the gala. In a controversial, years long legal battle, Brega ultimately won a bidding war for the Rockland County public bus contract.