Written by Carol Frank and Wendy K. Kreitzman: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 18 May 2012 00:00
Just days after announcing his nomination as the Republican candidate for New York State’s 16th Assembly District, Mark Schimel withdrew his candidacy. A flurry of controversy surrounded this upcoming election as Mr. Schimel’s nomination meant that he would challenge his estranged wife, Michelle Schimel, the Democratic incumbent.
The Republican nominating committee nominated Mark Schimel at a convention last Thursday evening, May 10. A media blitz followed, with newspapers as far away as Great Britain picking up the story of the soon-to-be divorced Great Neck opponents. On Tuesday morning, May 15, Mr. Schimel sent the following statement to Frank Moroney, chairman of the North Hempstead Republican Committee:
“Since being nominated last Thursday, I have been inundated with calls from the media that focused on matters extraneous to the campaign and the issues facing our state.
“It is clear to me that any effort to have an honest debate about lowering property taxes, improving our economy and making elected officials more responsive to taxpayers will be impossible given the media’s proclivity for sensationalizing the news.
“It also seems that the Democrats are frightened by the fact that the taxpayers of the 16th AD will learn that the incumbent assembly member voted against the real property tax cap, which makes it harder for senior citizens to afford to remain in North Hempstead and New York State and discourages young adults from moving here!
“Accordingly, I withdraw my request to run for the Assembly in the 16th AD. Thank you for your consideration and support.”
The initial announcement had come as a surprise and a shock for long-time politicos hardened to the swells of political tides and the wild cards that can suddenly turn a race upside down. Assemblywoman Schimel had immediately issued the following statement after her husband’s nomination: “I will run this campaign as I have run every campaign I have participated in, on the issues and on my record. I will continue to work for the best interests of the citizens of my district and for this state.”
Mr. Schimel did not comment on his nomination in the days following the announcement, but at that time Mr. Moroney had told Anton Newspapers that he had “every assurance that this will be an issues-oriented race.”
In the few days between announcements, much support for Michelle Schimel’s election came from many sources, including both sides of the aisle.
At press time, Mr. Moroney issued the following statement to Anton Newspapers: “We will announce a new candidate in the immediate future. The Republican Party believes that the sitting assembly member has failed the taxpayers of the Port Washington, Manhasset, Roslyn, Manhasset Hills, Herricks, Lake Success and Great Neck by voting against the two percent tax cap, which had broad bi-partisan support and resulted in local government being more diligent in protecting the public treasury.”
In an exclusive interview with Anton Newspapers, Assemblywoman Schimel stated: ““There is serious work to be done in the New York State Assembly and this matter was only a distraction from the important work being done in my government office. I will continue to work towards preventing gun violence, protecting our environment, bringing resources to the educational system and moving the state economy forward. I look forward to continuing to represent the people of the 16th Assembly District.”
The assemblywoman added that she is “very grateful for the out-pouring of support from my friends and neighbors of Great Neck,” adding “Thank you,” to all.