Giving their pitch: Republican Gubernatorial candidates address Bklyn GOP

Two of the leading Republican candidates hoping to unseat Governor David Paterson brought their platform of reducing spending and lowering taxes to Brooklyn GOPers last week during a packed meeting held at the Bay Ridge Manor.

Facing an eager and energetic crowd, former Congressman Rick Lazio and Erie County Executive Carl Collins said that it was high time a Republican was leading Albany.

“People know that Albany is fundamentally broken,” explained Lazio. “It’s not working for the people and it’s not solving problems. It’s spending excessively and increasing our taxes and that’s got to stop.”

Lazio, who recalled that his parents had their first date at Ebbets Field, said that “sweeping, fundamental reform” was required.

Still, Lazio said that he realizes the uphill battle ahead, especially now that the Democrats control both the Assembly and the State Senate. Having to cull votes from heavily democratic areas like Brooklyn — where Dems outnumber Republicans 8 to 1 — doesn’t help his chances.

Yet Lazio said he was encouraged from the outpouring of support he received by the Brooklyn GOP, although no official endorsments were made.

“I think I was well received,” he said. “Their questions were sharp. It’s always terrific to get in there and talk to the people on the ground.”

“People in New York and Brooklyn are sophisticated enough to know that when one party has all the power it overreaches and stops being accountable to the people,” he said. “Having balance with both Republicans and Democrats in positions of power is the checks and balances that are ultimately needed.”

Calls to Collins for a post-Brooklyn GOP meet rundown were not returned as this paper went to press.

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