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County Republicans endorse Camille O’Brien for Assembly

Alex Kielar
Posted 2/23/24

KAUNEONGA LAKE – Following New York Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther’s (NY-100) announcement that she would not seek re-election last Friday, February 16, four interested candidates threw …

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County Republicans endorse Camille O’Brien for Assembly


KAUNEONGA LAKE – Following New York Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther’s (NY-100) announcement that she would not seek re-election last Friday, February 16, four interested candidates threw their hat in the ring. On Wednesday evening, February 21, the Sullivan County Republican Committee met at Sorella Pizzeria and Restaurant and were able to hear from three of the four. 

Those three candidates were Camille O’Brien of Senator Peter Oberacker’s (NY-51) office, Lisa LaBue, who ran against Gunther in her last re-election effort and Lou Ingrassia of Wallkill. A fourth person, Bill Sipos Jr. of Forestburgh, was also interested in the nomination but was not present at the convention. 

Sullivan County Republican Committee Chairman Greg Goldstein said that they originally weren’t going to vote on the candidates for Assembly, but he said that after he and Vice Chair Tom Bose spent three hours in Orange County interviewing candidates with the Conservative Party of Sullivan County and the GOP of Orange County, they decided to move forward. 

After all 15 townships on the committee submitted their votes, O’Brien received the endorsement, beating out Ingrassia in weighted votes, 3,864.5 -— 2,741.5, with LaBue receiving 39.

However, Orange County is part of the process as a portion of that county is included in the 100th Assembly District. If Orange County is to endorse one of the other two candidates, Goldstein believes it would go to an automatic primary. According to Republican Party Treasurer, Susan Brown Otto, the Conservative Committee will be holding its convention on Tuesday, February 27, and have not yet officially endorsed a candidate. 

The Democrat reached out to Conservative Party Chair Ed Magilton, who said O’Brien is currently the only candidate to have submitted a letter of interest.

Political history and stance

Prior to her winning the endorsement, O’Brien spoke about her work in Senator Oberacker’s office and that she has already been working in the district. She said that while she was working for former Senator Mike Martucci, she overlaid the entirety of the 100th Assembly District. 

She also said that before working for Senator Martucci, she lived and worked in Albany, where she was the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Speaker of the Assembly. 

“There, I too in a lot of meetings and learned how to run legislation,” O’Brien said. “I can write a bill, index a bill, run a bill through a committee with the proper support and I know how to write a bill memo. I can do everything when I walk in the first day.”

O’Brien said that she has come to think of Sullivan County as her home and that she will now officially make it her home as of Thursday, February 22.

“I took a job with Sullivan County last year, where I am the coordinator of the Sullivan County Substance Use Task Force,” O’Brien said. “And it’s something that needs a lot of work in this county. I’ve been driving an hour back and forth every single day for the past year. I really care about Sullivan County and I know the issues.”

O’Brien also said that Senator Oberacker wanted to let the Committee know that he backs her 100 percent. In a question about what her stance on the Second Amendment is, O’Brien said, “Actually, I am a really good marksman.”

“I think I am in a perfect position to pull a lot of blanks and a lot of conservative Democrats, that haven’t had the guts to change their registration yet, across the aisle,” she said. “This is a hard district to win and even if we pull our entire base, we’re going to need those conservative Democrats and we need this seat to break super majority [which the Democratic party currently holds in the Assembly].”

O’Brien also spoke on the issue of immigration and said that they should focus on trying to find a path for legal immigration for those who are non-criminal and can be hardworking citizens. 

She also said that she has learned that a lot of the Hispanic community is very conservative and that getting voters from that community is important. 

“I think that is a huge opportunity for this party to grow in the future,” she said. “I think that is somewhere we can focus on because if the Republican Party is going to continue to win elections, we need to grow this party.”

Whoever ends up being the Republican Candidate will run against Democratic Candidate Paula Kay, who won the Democratic Committee endorsement at their convention on Tuesday, February 20. 

Other endorsements

The Republican Committee also endorsed Marc Molinaro for reelection to Congress in the 19th District as well as Senator Oberacker for reelection to the 51st Senate District. 

The Committee also voted yes to making an amendment to their rules, which is to change all communication on meetings to electronic. 


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