May 25, 2012
By Deanna Del Ciello
Just like two years ago, Francis Becker and Frank Scaturro are facing off again in a Republican primary on June 26 in the hopes of taking Carolyn McCarthy’s seat in congress. But things are different this time around.
The citizens know the candidates. They’ve had two years to watch them and get to know them and decide for themselves who they want to win. Both candidates have been campaigning longer this time, with more determination to win.
“People are sick of politicians who are beholden to special interests,” Frank Scaturro, one of the Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York’s 4th Congressional District, said. “People all over the country are looking for a fresh alternative. I certainly would view myself as a fresh alternative. For one thing, I am not someone who is beholden to the County Chairman. I’ve had more experience that’s both relevant to the position of serving in Congress and I’ve had experience taking people on when it’s not so comfortable to do so.”
Scaturro is hoping that this time around he will defeat Francis Becker, the other Republican candidate who outpolled Scaturro 10,361 to 7,733 in 2010. Scaturro believes that he will be able to defeat Becker this time based on his campaign.
“Fundamentally, we’re making our case because it’s in the best interest of the voters,” Scaturro said. Because his campaign is not based on intimidation and deception as Becker’s is, according to Scaturro, he will be the victor come June.
Becker believes that this year will be an easy win for him as two years ago he lost to Carolyn McCarthy by only 7.2 percent, the closest win for McCarthy since 1998.
“I was very successful last time,” Becker said. “I came extremely close and established a lot of relationships. I wanted to build off that success. I worked hard in the last two years and I’ve been campaigning since I lost last time.”
If Facebook is any indication of how the votes will fall next month, Becker is well in the lead with 2,395 likes on his Facebook page to Scaturro’s 1,684.
A major change from the primary in 2010 is the redistricting that occurred in March. Inwood was moved into the Fifth District in Queens along with areas of Valley Stream and Elmont while the Fourth District gained all of Merrick, Wantagh, Long Beach, Lido Beach and Island Park. Both candidates view this change as beneficial for their campaign.
Becker called the redesigned district “an area now that is largely Republican” that “might lean more favorably for Republicans.” Scaturro also sees the new district as being favorable for his party.
Besides the redistricting, Scaturro sees this primary as being very different from two years ago because he sees “the voters having a chance to choose which is something that they’re rarely given.” He believes this choice will make the difference for him this year. “I’m confident that we’re going to prevail at the end of the day,” Scaturro said, as long as the voters turn out on June 26.
With all of these changes in the past two years, Becker said he is still campaigning the way he did in 2010. “I’m doing a normal campaign with flyers and calls and things of that nature. Campaigns don’t really change from one to the other.”
The only difference he sees now from two years ago is the date of the primary being earlier. “It’s moved up, which is good for me if I’ll be successful. I’ll have more time to run against Carolyn McCarthy.”
Scaturro’s campaign has taken on new life with measures such as phone banking, going door to door and hanging out at train stations to meet voters.
“This is home, this is my home,” Scaturro said. “There is too much at stake. We can’t leave the system to political leaders who have not been advancing the people here.”
Becker’s decision to re-run for Congress rests in his children. “I have grandchildren and I think about them often and the kind of country we’ll be leaving my children and my grandchildren. I have a great deal to offer. Our country is truly at a cross roads and this election may be one of the most important in our history.”
“If we’re going to change Washington,” Becker said, “we’ve got to change the people we’re sending there.”
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