With one week to go before elections, pitch rises in Aubertine-Ritchie race for state Senate seat
Monday, October 25, 2010 - 4:44 pm

Election Day is a week away, and the pitch of the race between St. Lawrence County Clerk Patty Ritchie and state Sen. Darrel Aubertine for his 48th District Senate seat is rising.

Referring to the GOP’s candidate for governor, Democrat Aubertine is attacking Ritchie for “waffling on her support of the Paladino agenda, despite publicly supporting his agenda for months and collecting more than 4000 signatures to join him on his ballot line.

Meanwhile, Ritchie, referring to a scandal over how a firm to run a downstate horse track was chosen, is pummeling Aubertine, noting that “two more candidates have agreed to return campaign cash connected to the growing pay-to-play corruption scandal that’s ensnared the entire Democrat leadership of the State Senate, but Senator Aubertine continues to dodge questions about his colleagues’ behavior.”

Ritchie says more Democratic candidates are returning campaign cash that came from the firm while Aubertine has not done so,

Aubertine is critical of Ritchie for her support of Paladino, and now for backing away from him.

“Patty Ritchie shares two party lines with Carl Paladino and has publicly supported his fiscal approach. Now, with just over a week until Election Day, she is questioning his reckless cuts, his fiscal plan and his mental state while offering little in the way of clear statements on what she does support,” Aubertine’s campaign says.

“Ritchie had no problem running on Paladino’s message of cutting healthcare for struggling families and slashing education, but now as her campaign flounders, she just woke up to realize how bad this reckless plan would be for Central and Northern New Yorkers?” said Aubertine campaign spokesman Drew Mangione. “Does anyone really believe that? After tying herself to Paladino, promoting his ideas, creating a sham ballot line with him and using his talking points, suddenly she’s ‘uncertain’ of where she stands.

“This last minute waffle on the basic premise of her campaign raises so many questions, most notably does she actually know what she wants to do in Albany?” asks Mangione. “And if she no longer supports the disastrous Paladino plan, what exactly does she stand for?”

Meanwhile the Ritchie campaign is wondering aloud where Aubertine’s interests lie.

“Aubertine, who has received more campaign cash from entities tied to the scandal-scarred leaders than any other Democrat—more than $500,000 in total—won’t even comment on the I.G.’s findings, telling an Albany radio station that he has yet to see it, and has refused to say if he will return the donations,” a statement from her campaign says.

“Senator Aubertine says he stands up to his downstate Senate leaders, but three days have passed since the Inspector General exposed a massive corruption scandal involving those same leaders, and Senator Aubertine has no opinion, won’t say a word, and is happy to continue accepting their money and support,” said state Senate candidate Patty Ritchie.