NASSAU COUNTY GOP RESCINDS KENNEDY ENDORSEMENT AFTER CONSERVATIVE PARTY RAISES OBJECTIONS OVER SAME SEX MARRIAGE CEREMONIES
June 16, 2014 -- The Nassau County Republican Committee, which in late May had officially endorsed Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy to be the party's candidate for the 13th Assembly district seat currently held by Democrat Charles Lavine, has rescinded its nomination.
According to Mr. Kennedy, who spoke about the issue at a campaign kick-off event Monday evening, and who responded to questions from Northwordnews on Sunday, the Republican Committee withdrew its support after Nassau County Conservative Party leaders refused to back the Sea Cliff Mayor because he had officiated two same-sex marriages.
Mr. Kennedy said that the Nassau Republican Committee asked him to try to smooth things over with the Conservatives by apologizing, and promising that he would never officiate at such weddings again and, if elected to the Assembly, to vote against the Marriage Equality Act should its repeal ever come up for consideration. Mr. Kennedy refused, and as a result, he said, lost the party's endorsement. "I cannot and will not accept an order to violate my personal principles to advance my political career," he declared.
Despite the snub, Mr. Kennedy said that he is in the race to stay. "I will not back down," he asserted. "I intend to win the primary and then the general election with the support of Democrats and Republicans. According to a source, Lou Imbroto, an attorney who lost to Mr. Lavine by nearly 30 points in 2012, will have the Republican Committee's backing in the primary.
In response to questions from Northwordnews and in his address Monday, Mr. Kennedy said that under the laws of the State of New York, same sex couples have the legal right to marry, and in his position as a village Mayor, he has the authority and obligation to officiate at a same-sex couple's ceremony as he would for any other. "I've never taken into consideration a person's creed, color, or sexual orientation," he said.
When asked by Northwordnews if he supports the Marriage Equality Act of 2011, which legalized same-sex marriage in New York State, Mr. Kennedy replied, "I do not oppose Marriage Equality. I do not oppose the law. I support the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and equality for all New Yorkers."
He re-iterated the point Monday night, raising the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, one of the founding fathers of the Republican Party, and cited that President's commitment to the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence as expressed in the Gettysburg Address and incorporated into the 14th Amendment five years later.
Mr. Kennedy, in both his Monday night address and in his comments to Northwordnews, made clear that his candidacy is not about same-sex marriage. Much of his kick-off speech was devoted to economic issues and reforming a "culture of corruption" in Albany. In particular, he said, he would like to see the implementation of policies that would result in a more business friendly environment and that would make housing on Long Island more affordable so that "grandparents do not have to move away from their grandchildren," and young graduates are not priced out of the area, as well as lifting the burdens imposed on local governments and school districts by unfunded mandates. "I believe in the core Republican value of getting government out of people's lives," he said.
As of the posting of this article, Sea Cliff Republican Club leader John Canning, State Senator Carl Marcellino's office, Nassau County Republican Committee Official Tony Santino, and the Nassau County Conservative Party did not respond to Northwordnews' requests for comment made Monday morning.
BACK TO WEEKLY
BACK TO HOME PAGE
SEA CLIFF MAYOR KENNEDY ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR NYS ASSEMBLY SEAT (April 10, 2014)