CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - The League of Conservation Voters has backed incumbent Robert Castelli (R, C - Goldens Bridge) in his re-election bid against David Buchwald (D - White Plains) to represent the 89th Assembly District.
“I am not only honored, but I’m also thrilled by this particular endorsement,” Castelli said Wednesday on the steps of New Castle Town Hall. “I have been a lifelong conservationist and environmentalist, and to be recognized by as distinguished an organization as the League of Conservation Voters is a big feather in my cap, quite honestly.”
Nanette Bourne, Westchester Chapter Chair of the League of Conservation Voters, said the endorsement should be seen more as recognition of Castelli’s efforts, and not necessarily as a slight to Buchwald.
“We have been impressed with his ability to understand the issues that are important to the League of Conservation Voters,” Bourne said. “He scored extraordinarily high on all of the issues and environmental agenda items that are important to us.”
Castelli received 101 out of 105 possible points on his most recent environmental report card, Bourne said. In the same report, Castelli’s Republican Assembly colleagues received an average score of 62, while Democratic Party representatives averaged 101. Despite the disparity between the two parties, Bourne and Castelli stressed the issues should be non-partisan.
“Issues on the environment are not Republican or Democrat issues; they are issues for all our concern,” Castelli said. “If we allow them to degenerate into partisan politics, then the environment is the issue that loses.”
An environmental issue Castelli expects will be discussed often during his campaign is hydrofracking. Castelli said he co-sponsored a moratorium against hydrofracking, believing there first needs to be proof the gas can be extracted safely before engaging in any discussions.
“If it can’t be extracted safely, then we shouldn’t extract it at all,” he said. “It’s been in the ground 288 million years. It can stay there a little bit longer until we have a definitive scientific answer on this.”