BETHLEHEM The Bethlehem Republican Committee has endorsed a slate of candidates belonging to multiple political parties for the November local elections under the banner of “Bethlehem United.”
Republican Committee Chairman Fred Di Maggio said the coalition came together this spring after it was announced a referendum would take place to decide if the town should abolish the elected position of highway superintendent and place those responsibilities under the commissioner of public works. The referendum failed 3,086 to 1,969.
“It was because of that catalyst that we effectively got to know each other, and became friends, and realized the potential for this coalition,” he said. “Our slate is unique and historic because it includes candidates from across the Town of Bethlehem and across the political spectrum.”
The announcement was made at Selkirk Fire Department No. 2 in Glenmont on Thursday, May 30.
Di Maggio is running for town supervisor. He has been chairman of the Republican Committee for the past 18 months and lived in Bethlehem for 28 years.
“This is something other than politics as usual,” he said. “I think people are disgusted by the fact that politicians can’t seem to work together, but this is three parties working with the same goals in mind.”
Bethlehem United’s stated goals include creating a “pro-business atmosphere” to attract new businesses to town, eliminating the hiring of outside consultants to perform jobs that can be done by town employees, development of the Vista Technology Campus into a “true technology park” and “establishing open and honest budgeting practices.”
Other candidates endorsed by the GOP include Linda Jasinski, a Conservative, and Dan Cunningham, a member of the Independence Party. Cunningham had previously interviewed this year with the town’s Democratic Party to be endorsed for a Town Board run.
“We obviously did not endorse him,” said Bethlehem Democratic Committee Chairman Jeffrey Kuhn. “But at the time, he told us he was dedicated to the ‘principles and ideals of the Democratic Party.’”