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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Freeport mayor's claim of Obama 'support' stirs a tempest

Andrew Hardwick, running for reelection as Freeport mayor,

Andrew Hardwick, running for reelection as Freeport mayor, is claiming President Barack Obama's "support." Photo Credit: Hardwick campaign mailer

The White House on Tuesday referred questions to the Democratic National Committee concerning a mailing from Freeport Village Mayor Andrew Hardwick that claims President Barack Obama supports his bid for re-election next week.

The flyer shows a photo of Hardwick photoshopped next to a larger image of Obama and says, “President Obama supports Mayor Hardwick” The other side makes other claims, including that Hardwick contacted Obama during superstorm Sandy and that Obama and Hardwick had brought the head of FEMA to Freeport.

Hardwick’s opponents quickly denounced the claims. “A recent mailing sent out by Mayor Hardwick infers that President Obama has endorsed his bid for reelection - This is not true!,” wrote Freeport activist David Chauvin, in a mass email.

Chauvin, a public-relations specialist, added that Obama had not contacted Hardwick after Sandy. “Mayor Hardwick participated in a conference call with 1,700 other officials throughout the area that were affected by the storm, not a one-on-one conversation."

Democratic National Committeeman Robert Zimmerman said he couldn't speak for the DNC. But as the party's only national committeeman from Long Island, he said, "It is absurd to think that President Obama has taken sides in the Village of Freeport mayoral election."
"It's disgraceful and dishonest for Andrew Hardwick to misuse President Obama's name and deceive the voters of Freeport by claiming President Obama has endorsed him."
Zimmerman, who runs a public relations firm, also happens to be Chauvin's boss.

Trustee Robert Kennedy, who is challenging Hardwick for mayor, said that besides the one conference call, “there never has been an official communication with Obama that I have knowlege of. As a trustee, we would know if the president has come here or there is a communication.”

Hardwick could not be reached.

Hardwick and Kennedy are Democrats but Kennedy is running on the “Unity-Home Rule” coalition ticket.

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