By ANNIE CHESNUT
State Senator Greg Ball kicked off his re-election campaign today at a rousing breakfast event at Murphy’s restaurant in Yorktown.
Ball walked in to a round of applause, whooping, and hollering. The crowd numbered well over a hundred; one of Ball’s staffers said they were expecting as many as 175 people.
Among the supporters on hand were Putnam County Legislator Carl Albano, the Republican chairs from both Westchester and Putnam counties, and Ball’s proud mom and dad.
Ball’s organization appeared strong, with a number of green-clad youthful staffers taking names and handing out large shamrock stickers with “BALL” printed on them.
But it was chief of staff Jim Coleman who was perhaps Ball’s biggest cheerleader, making the rounds, revving up the house, and even referring to Ball as “our Elvis Presley.”
“I love him. He’s my brother. He’s my senator,” Coleman gushed, launching into a litany of Ball’s achievements. “Senator Ball has delivered for this district…Greg, nobody cares as much as you. Nobody fights as much as you….This man is a winner… We have protesters out there outside the parking lot that six months ago used to be friends…sixty minutes ago.”
Ball returned the favor by quipping that he just wished Coleman—who is African American—were President instead of Barack Obama.
After thanking his family, his staff, his volunteers, his local supporters, and outlining his accomplishments in Albany, Ball acknowledged the primary challenge he faces from current Assemblyman and Tea Party favorite, Dr. Steve Katz—and the issue seemingly on every Republican voter’s mind this election season—candidate electability: “We’ve been to this dance before. We know how to win it. And we’re gonna do it again.”
Ball credited himself with being instrumental in launching Katz’s political career, including fundraising assistance, but seemed unfazed by the relative newcomer’s recent decision to challenge him, including a gaggle of Katz protesters who lined the sidewalk across from the Yorktown venue’s parking lot.
“This primary is likely not to be very nice,” Ball predicted, but added, “We will have a resounding victory in the general election.” Noting that at least in a political sense, he had been “combat tested,” Ball closed by commanding his troops: “Let’s go kick some butt.” (ARTICLE)