2006-01-20 / Community

Local GOP Gives Senate Nod To Spencer

JOHNSPENCERJOHNSPENCER Breaking with precedent and seeking to have an early impact on the upcoming New York State Senate race, the Rockaway Republicans, soon to be one of the newest chartered Republican clubs in the state, announced their endorsement today for former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer for the United States Senate. If successful in his bid for the state GOP nomination, Spencer will challenge Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democratic incumbent and rumored presidential hopeful, in the ‘06 election.

According to Rockaway Republicans President Tom Lynch, “We decided to make our choice early instead of waiting around for two reasons. First, we were extremely impressed by Mayor Spencer when he visited us on November 30, 2005 and, second, we came to the conclusion that the GOP needs to close ranks as early as possible around its eventual nominee. Instead of desperately rooting around for someone, anyone, to run in lieu of Spencer, the state party should do us all a favor and recognize that John has the fire in the belly that it takes to win this thing and that he genuinely connects with grassroots voters across the state.”

Noting that some GOP clubs prefer to hold back their endorsements until after primaries have been run, Lynch pointed out that his organization wants to take a different tack. “Sometimes you just have to take a stand,” he said. “While our group consists of loyal Republicans who will support any real Republican candidate at the end of the day, the whole point of endorsements is to help the candidates you like. So we didn’t see any point in hanging back when Spencer is out there, putting himself on the line for what he believes in.”

Vice President Stuart Mirsky added that, Spencer is ideally suited to take on the Democratic incumbent because his views, in many ways, are antithetical to hers. Spencer faults Senator Clinton for being wishy-washy on the war on terror and for not adequately representing her constituents in New York State. Spencer, himself, espouses a range of conservative views which are diametrically opposed to Clinton’s, including strong support for illegal immigration control, social security reform, and judicial restraint as a criterion for appointments to the federal judiciary. Spencer, an adopted child himself, has also aligned himself with the pro-life movement.

Rockaway Republicans President Tom Lynch notes that Spencer’s views “were music to our ears when we heard him in November. His straight-talking, down-to-earth approach won our people over. No fancy rhetoric, no hemming and hawing. He just told it like it was, take him or leave him . . . and we decided to take him.”

According to Lynch his group is now looking at the gubernatorial race with an eye toward an early endorsement in that one, too. “Our sister club, the Queens Village Republican Club, which may well be the oldest Republican club in the nation, makes a practice of routinely withholding their endorsements to avoid picking sides. Well, as the newest club, we plan to pick sides,” said Lynch. “What’s the sense of being in politics, after all, if you don’t aim to fight early and hard . . . if you don’t fight to win?”

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