Chris Moss, running for lieutenant governor with Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, headlined the list of statewide and Congressional candidates speaking Tuesday night at a meeting of the Queens Village Republican Club.
And the Chemung County sheriff said he and Astorino feel quite at home in New York City.
In an interview prior to his talk, Moss said people upstate and in the city want some of the same basic things from their leaders, regardless of party or geography.
“People everywhere want good, well-paying jobs,” he said. “People everywhere want low taxes, safe streets and low crime. New York City may not be our strongest area, but that’s no reason to not come here and talk about our campaign.”
He also pointed out that Astorino has twice been elected as county executive in Westchester, where Democrats enjoy a roughly a 2-to-1 advantage in registered voters.
Club President Phil Orenstein said he wanted the evening to be less of a regular monthly meeting than a rally for candidates.
Other guests included former Congressman Bob Turner; John Cahill, who is running for attorney general against Democrat Eric Schneiderman; Grant Lally, who is challenging Congressman Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) in the 3rd District; Queens County Republican Chairman Bob Beltrani and state Conservative Party Chairman Tom Long.
Turner knows a thing or two about scoring upset victories, having defeated Assemblyman David Weprin with 52 percent of the vote in a special election to replace former Congressman Anthony Weiner in 2011.
“I was told by The New York Times that I was going to lose by 18 points,” Turner said. “...We won with a true grass-roots campaign. You did that, and you can do it again.”
In a brief interview, Turner acknowledged that the GOP must get and keep its voters energized.
“Our biggest enemies are voter apathy and indifference, no doubt,” he said.
Moss said he and Astorino know that well, and that it is a large reason they are looking to win votes in the city.
While recent revelations surrounding Gov. Cuomo’s former anti-corruption Moreland Commission have dented the governor’s popularity ratings, they have not had the effect of driving Astorino’s numbers up.
Moss said he has a reason to not be overly concerned about that.
“In the last four weeks, Gov. Cuomo has spent $5 million on negative ads, and in that time, Rob’s numbers have not gone down,” Moss said. “When we start airing our ads, I’m certain they will go up.”
Cahill trained much of his fire on Schneiderman and the Moreland Commission, whose members were deputized by his office.
“Until they got too close the governor’s people,” he said. ”The governor, in effect, fired his deputies. Silent Schneiderman.”
He criticized Schneiderman for his actions or nonactions on issues such as charter schools and the SAFE Act, the latter of which greatly strengthened state gun laws.
Lally said the elections in November are not just about winning.
“Republicans win for the right reasons, “ he said. “We win on principles, like individualism, family.”
He characterized Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as an extension of the Obama Administration, particularly in regard to the ongoing investigation of the Internal Revenue Service.
“The gross misuse of the U.S. government based on people’s political or religious beliefs,” he said.