Ruggiero, Greene win town GOP primary
Normally, being the incumbent in an election gives a candidate a decided edge. In the Town of Newburgh, it is apparently much more important to have the endorsement of your political party.
Just ask Town Councilman Ernest Bello.
Four years ago, Bello received the endorsement of the Town of Newburgh Republican Party and easily won election, along with fellow Republicans Town Supervisor Wayne Booth, Elizabeth “Betty” Greene and City Clerk Andrew Zarutskie.
Last month, Bello sought the party endorsement he had enjoyed four years previously, but was rejected in favor of political newcomer Paul Ruggiero. There was no public explanation, but it was generally accepted that Bello had angered someone within the Republican power structure.
On Tuesday, Sept. 10, Bello felt the brunt of that slight when he finished third in the Republican primary for Town Council in the Town of Newburgh.
Political newcomer Ruggiero interestingly garnered the most votes with 593 (37.46 percent of the ballots cast) to finish ahead of Mrs. Greene’s 558 votes (35.25 percent) and Bello’s 420 votes (26.53 percent).
Ruggiero actually outpolled Greene, who had not only served a full 4-year term on the Town Council but had served for 28 years as town receiver of taxes and before that as court clerk.
Bello, a veteran of 11 years on the Town of New Windsor Police Department and a graduate with honors in Criminal Justice from Mercy College, will thus leave office in January.
Asked what his political plans are now, Bello said that he will enjoy being a grandfather as he nears his 62nd birthday.
“That’s pretty much it for me politically,” he said Monday night after the Newburgh Town Board meeting.
But first he will volunteer his time to help his sister, Christine Bello, in her bid to win a seat on the Newburgh City Council.
By ALLAN GAUL