2012-02-15 / Civics and Politics

Katz Likely to Primary Ball

Decision to come soon; Ball dismisses challenge
Douglas Cunningham

 Assemblyman Steve Katz of Yorktown is considering staging a Republican primary against Sen. Greg Ball for Ball’s Senate seat.

Ball, of Patterson, and Katz were both elected to their current posts in the 2010 elections. Ball had previously represented the Assembly.

A challenge to Ball from, in essence, his right flank would be potentially damaging. It comes at a time when Ball has decided to seek another term in his state Senate seat, after presumably rejecting a challenge to House Rep. Nan Hayworth of Bedford, also a Republican, who is seeking reelection.

Both Ball and Katz have owned, so far, rock-ribbed Republican positions. Both are strong on the Second Amendment. Both have been involved with, and received backing from, the Tea Party movement.

Ball, however, has somewhat attempted to thread the needle recently, adopting populist positions on issues such as hydrofracturing for natural gas, in which he has excoriated the industry. Ball was initially a swing vote on gay marriage, and he received a warm reception during a recent appearance before Cold Spring business people, a community that is one of the few Democratic strongholds in Putnam County.

Katz is said to be ready to announce a final decision next week, possibly Tuesday. 

Katz, on Thursday morning, confirmed that he is reviewing a primary. "I'm strongly considering it," Katz said. "I've started an exploratory committee. I will be making an announcement in the not too distant future."

And, Jim Coleman, Ball's top aide, issued this statement:

"Greg is an advocate for taxpayers, veterans, small business owners and working families and was just ranked New York’s top rated conservative senator, unlike Katz who got a horrible D rating," Coleman said. "Greg has delivered ethics reform, the lowest middle class tax rate in three generations, a property tax cap and a repeal of the MTA payroll tax. It’s unfortunate that a fellow Republican, who hasn't even finished his first term and whose absent from the Assembly 15% of the time , would work to help the New York City Democrats gain control of this seat by pushing an unnecessary primary. He has done little in Albany, earning the nickname of Dr. Do-Little, and has a track record of flip flops, broken promises and liberal stances. Dr. Do-Little is a hypocrite who says one thing in the District and votes a different way in Albany on property taxes, spending and out of control government entitlements. The Senator is focused on job creation, tax relief and delivering for the district, and he will maintain that focus for the rest of his term, primary or no primary.” 

Ball currently represents Philipstown, though a contemplated redistricting would put the town in another Senate district. The seat would continue to cover much of Putnam County.



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