Attorney Frank Scaturro announced Wednesday that he would not endorse fellow Republican Francis Becker of Lynbrook but instead would run on the Conservative Party line against him and incumbent Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola).
Scaturro, who won the Conservative nomination in June on a write-in vote, complained at a Mineola news conference that Becker had called him an "ultraliberal" and edited out Scaturro's American flag pin in campaign material sent out before June's GOP primary won by Becker. "He lied to the people he seeks to represent and brought disgrace upon himself and the Republican Party," said Scaturro, of Hempstead.
Becker defended his political characterization of Scaturro, saying Scaturro "worked with and for" former Sen. Arlen Specter, who switched from Republican to Democrat in 2009. Becker said he could not remember the genesis of the photo of Scaturro without the flag pin.
Scaturro said he worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee when Specter was chairman and then ranking member and he has spoken to Specter only once since he resigned from the committee in 2009.
Scaturro has been at odds with county Republican leaders, who want him to leave the race.
Wednesday, Santino said of Scaturro's continuation in the race: "This confirms what many people thought all along -- Scaturro is more about his own monumental ego and ambition than about retiring Carolyn McCarthy and changing the course of things in Washington . . . His continued candidacy on a minor party line will have no effect on the election."
Becker called it, "sad and unfortunate that Mr. Scaturro continues to feed his ego by running for Congress," he said. "But voters are smart enough to know that a vote for Scaturro is a vote for Carolyn McCarthy. So I'm sure they will be smart enough to vote for me and the change that I represent."
Michael Dawidziak, a Bohemia political consultant who primarily works for Republicans, said Scaturro and Becker will split the conservative Republican vote, making McCarthy's re-election significantly easier. "This makes a tough race even tougher for Becker," Dawidziak said.
McCarthy said she welcomed Scaturro "to the race and am sure that voters will see clear distinctions between each of our records and visions."
With Robert Brodsky