Rockland County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Lettre and Republican Party leadership are at odds over several races slated for the 2015 election season and the two groups have butted heads already, the Rockland County Times has learned.
High ranking officials in the Republican Party told the newspaper that Lettre went so far as to threaten to withhold all endorsements from Republican candidates if the GOP pursued a challenge against Lettre ally Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack (D).
Lettre told the Times he welcomes a challenge to the supervisor, opining that Gromack would crush any competition and referring to Gromack as “the most conservative supervisor in Clarkstown history.”
Lettre, who is the Town of Clarkstown clerk of the works, cited Gromack’s consolidation of town departments and elimination of payroll positions as evidence of his alleged conservative fiscal stature.
Endorsements of Democrats by the Rockland County Conservative Party has long been a contentious matter in Rockland politics. Lettre said he did not believe party labels were always important in town, county and even state-level campaigns. Consistent with the old adage “There is no Republican or Democratic way to fix a pothole,” Lettre mused that “I do not think the Conservative Party would ever endorse someone like [liberal] Nita Lowey for Congress, but for positions like town council, are we really concerned whether a candidate is pro-life or pro-choice, or is it about who would be better at representing the community?”
Republicans insist that Lettre threatened to withhold all endorsements if they challenge Gromack and promised to run primaries against Lettre candidates in many races if he followed through with the threat.