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Democrat Photo by Matt Youngfrau

SULLIVAN COUNTY FAMILY Court Judge Mark Meddaugh, left, is greeted by Governor Pataki for a candidate publicity shot Wednesday. Pataki is flanked by Goldstein.

Governor Welcomes
New Republicans

By Matt Youngfrau
CALLICOON — October 18, 2002 – New York State Governor George Pataki visited Sullivan County Wednesday as the special guest at the Annual Sullivan County Republican Committee Cocktail Party, held Wednesday evening at the Club at the Villa Roma in Callicoon.
Approximately 250 people braved the elements to hear the governor speak, even though he was delayed an hour when he was rerouted from Sullivan County Airport to Stewart Airport in Newburgh. He showed up at the Villa around 6:30, the time he was expected to be at the Nevele in Ellenville to offer the keynote address at the Ulster County Republican Dinner.
In the meantime, guests mingled with new Republicans Leni Binder, the chair of the county legislature, and Bob Kunis, its vice chair. Many offered congratulations, and the two were pleased by the response.
“I welcome Bob and Leni to the Republican family,” New York State Senator John Bonacic said in his remarks. “They have been taking a lot of criticism from the Democrats. We have always reached out to the people who help people. They always put the people first.”
Bonacic then offered a casino update.
“This is the most exciting county to be in,” Bonacic said. “The key date is October 24. That is the day the Bureau of Indian Affairs could approve the compact with the Seneca nation. If it is approved, expect the governor to move quickly. It will open the door as a prototype for future compacts. Also, we have to resolve the lawsuits. That should be 12 months away.”
Pataki arrived through a sea of well-wishers and old friends. As he made his way through the crowd, Pataki shook hands, gave hugs, and kissed greeters.
“I thank the people of Sullivan County,” Pataki stated once at the podium. “You got behind me early. Thanks to your help, we have made the state better than it was seven and a half years ago.”
According to Pataki, there are now more private sector jobs, and the welfare system has been overhauled.
“The future is bright,” Pataki commented. “We are at a crossroads. We will move forward and give power to the people. We will not go backwards, we will go forwards and have a better future.”
The governor also welcomed Kunis and Binder to the party, calling them up to the podium to shake their hands.
At the end of his speech, he stated, “Thank God we got Leni and Bob.”
Afterwards, Pataki worked his way through the crowd with more handshakes, hugs and kisses. He also stopped to pose for pictures before heading to the Nevele.

Democrat Photo by Matt Youngfrau

NYS GOVERNOR GEORGE Pataki, center, is applauded by State Senator John Bonacic, left, and county Republican Party Chair Greg Goldstein during his speech at the county GOP’s cocktail party Wednesday in Callicoon.

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