ALBANY — Two former elected officials and a sitting mayor on Long Island, a former top staff member as well as a prominent executive are among Republicans statewide who announced Wednesday that they support Democrat Hillary Clinton over GOP nominee Donald Trump for president, according to Clinton’s Hillary for New York campaign.
On Long Island, the Clinton supporters include former state Sen. Michael Balboni of Nassau County, former Greenport Mayor Dave Kapell and Chris D’Amato, managing director of Park Strategies, the firm founded by former Republican Sen. Alfonse D’Amato. The senator’s former press secretary, Vanessa Herman, is also part of the effort, along with former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-New Hartford), a longtime upstate GOP leader in Congress until he retired in 2007.
Trump, however, is endorsed by most active Republican leaders, including state Republican Chairman Ed Cox and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport).
The Hillary For New York announcement on Wednesday is one of several that are scheduled to release lists of Republicans, including government officials, military leaders and teachers, supporting the former secretary of state and New York senator. Clinton has a lead of more than 20 percentage points in New York, according to most polls.
“The dangerous world we live in requires strong, balanced, experienced and sometimes nuanced leadership,” Balboni said. “These are the traits of Secretary Clinton and we need them now more than ever.”
Kapell said that as a descendant of Polish Jews who escaped anti-Semitic purges in Europe by hiding in the undercarriage of a railroad boxcar “to freedom and a new life in America, I support Hillary Clinton for president because I believe she will defend and protect the freedoms that make America a beacon for the world of tolerance and diversity.”
Herman said: “As the wife of a master sergeant in the New York Army National Guard who has gone through multiple deployments over the past several years, simply stated, I do not trust Donald Trump to be our commander in chief.”
“As a senator, she worked across party lines to get things done,” Boehlert said of Clinton. “She’s smart, she’s informed, she’s responsive and she’s responsible. She has the right temperament for the job.”
Balboni now runs a private-sector security firm; Kapell is working with the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, which works with the Democratic Cuomo administration to bring jobs and funds to Long Island; and Herman has worked in government relations for Pace University. Boehlert worked with Clinton when they both served in Washington.
Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant, who has been a lifelong Republican, is among those backing Clinton. In recent weeks, she switched her enrollment from the GOP and is now not enrolled in any party.
“The division and divisiveness of this election is becoming alarming,” she said in an interview. She scoffed at Trump’s warning that electing Clinton will mean another eight years like the tenure of Democratic President Barack Obama.
“I will take those years over anarchy and madness,” she said.