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Niskayuna Town Board candidate switches sides

Rizzo cites philosophical differences, campaign tactics for switch

— Niskayuna Democratic Committee Chairman Geoff Hall welcomed Rizzo to the party and scolded town Republicans for campaign tactics used during the last election.

“(Rizzo) is someone who cares deeply about our community and her views are far more in line with the platform of our party,” Hall said. “Last minute smear tactics and distortions of the truth such as those employed by last year’s Republican slate don’t sit well with the voters in general, and apparently don’t sit well with some of their party faithful.”

Mansion denied claims of the GOP running a misleading campaign and said statements made in the campaign by candidates and the party were factual. He pointed to the town’s bond rating being downgraded as an example.

“Every fact that goes out is checked, rechecked and tripled checked,” Mansion said. “None of those facts provided in literature are off the cuff; they are factually based.”

He also said there is room for moderate Republicans in the town, because anyone is welcome as long as they agree to reducing the cost of government and tax burden on taxpayers. He said larger national issues aren’t important within the local party.

Mansion said if the Democrats do have a better vision for the town than the Republicans, he hasn’t seen it yet.

Rizzo said the switch wasn’t made to set her up for a successful election bid. Historically town Democrats have held a majority on the Town Board.

“As a Republican I was a big fish in a small pond, and as a Democrat I am a little fish in a big pond. You don’t make a move like that if you want to be elected,” Rizzo said. “My whole life has been based on my values and my ethics and when I feel something is deviating from those, I then have to do something about it.”

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