Republican senatorial candidate Rick Lazio, (N.Y.-2nd) failed to make his expected appearance at Celebrations outside of Ithaca, Saturday, but Leaders for Lazio attendees still rallied there to support their candidate.
In his place, Lazio’s wife, Pat, and Lieutenant Governor Mary Donahue addressed the crowd of 200 supporters.
“Rick wishes he could be here himself but he sent me in his place and I hope that’s okay,” Pat Lazio said as the restaurant erupted in cheers.
The Tompkins County Republican Party sponsored the luncheon which also featured other local Republican candidates.
“It’s great to have such a large turn-out to show that we believe in our leaders and we are going to be there on Tuesday,” said Dian Levy, chair of the Tompkins County Republican Party.
“Rick Lazio has already been a member of our team, the team to improve the State of New York. He’s a crime fighter, a tax cutter,” Donahue said. “Rick is fighting for all of us.”
Donahue talked about First Lady Hillary Clinton’s weak record on issues such as education; her home state of Arkansas ranked second to last in education.
“I want to see Hillary Clinton make history. I want to see her be the first first lady to make a concession speech,” Donahue said.
Pat Lazio tried to portray her husband as a man constituents can trust and supporters took up the message, chanting, “Rick is one of us.”
“His priorities have always been about helping others: seniors, veterans … cancer patients, missing children. That is what public service is all about, helping those in need,” Pat Lazio said.
Lesley Jackson ’03 said that she wasn’t disappointed that Lazio didn’t speak. She said she came out “to learn — I don’t know that much about either candidate.”
“I’m from Texas but I’m registered here,” she added. “I don’t like Hillary.”
“He’s got to be where he’s going to be elected,” said David Gross ’04, a member of Leaders for Lazio. “He’s a real guy. I trust him.”
Jen Pucci ’03, a member of the Cornell Democrats, would have liked to have known what kept Lazio from attending.
“I haven’t known Lazio to address student issues,” she said. “I thought this was a great opportunity for him with such a large university nearby.”
Unlike Lazio’s last appearance on Sept. 22 in Cayuga Heights, Cornell Democrats didn’t send representatives to the event.
Leaders for Lazio members expressed faith in their candidate.
“I’d have liked to hear him but I’d never heard his wife speak. She has a different point of view,” said Albert Chang ’04, a member of Leaders for Lazio.
“You can go back and see what [Lazio has] done for us; unfortunately, you can’t say that for Mrs. Clinton,” said Matthew Wachs ’04.
Lazio has also visited Tompkins County at Lansing on Aug. 17.
Archived article by Beth Herskovits