Statement by Dan Branda on Election Results

3 minutes ago • 4 minute read

Let me start with appreciation for those who offered their help and support to my campaign along the way, including Republican Chairman Doug Colety, Vice-Chairs Christine Sculti and John Cerino, Somers Republican Chair T.J. McCormack, Women's Republican Chair Ashley McCarrick, Congressman Mike Lawler and his campaign team, former Putnam County Executive Maryellen Odell, Senate candidate Gina Arena, my friend and top supporter Joe Capasso, and the many volunteers who made phone calls on my behalf.

I want to thank my family, who supported me throughout this campaign no matter how burdensome it became on our homelife.

I also want to thank David McKay Wilson of the Journal News for taking an honest interest in this campaign and reporting the facts about Vedat Gashi’s New York City affordable housing apartment, his illegal use of government mail to support his candidacy, his false claims about my home in Somers, and his lies about the crime stats in Westchester. I look forward to David’s continued reporting on these stories.

Although I have worked on campaigns for more than a decade, I never realized how much I would hate being a candidate. 

We’re now operating in a political climate where anything can be said about anyone, indifferent of the facts–and, where those who claim the mantle of upholding facts and fairness in our campaigns actively choose to abdicate that responsibility when it’s not convenient. 

We’re operating in a climate where policies and agendas no longer matter, and most candidates do not bother to offer anything of substance to the voters.

We’re operating in a political climate where endorsements and resources automatically go to the incumbent, regardless of platform, because there’s very limited courage to rock the boat. 

And, we’re operating in a political climate where wealthy candidates can use their personal resources to sue their opponents in court, without offering evidence, to simply put a high price on ballot access. 

I hated being a candidate because I lost a friend in May–a trusted confidant and campaign manager. 

I hated being a candidate because of the toll that my opponent’s lies and financial bullying took on my family and myself. As a result, we have not been healthy for the duration of this campaign. 

What I have experienced over the last several months exemplifies why good people loathe to run for public office.

But there’s so much work that still needs to be done, and a government that must be held accountable to the taxpayers at every action.

As a result of last night’s elections, we will have the status quo in Westchester for the next two years.

That status quo means our taxes will continue to rise while our elected leaders lie to us about it. 

It means we will continue to have the scandals inherent in one-party rule, and those scandals will be ignored until it becomes politically expedient to find a scapegoat.

It means northern Westchester will continue to be ignored when the county is spending resources on economic development, capital projects, flood mitigation, housing development, and grants for our non-profits.

It means New Castle’s complaints about flyover noise from the airport will continue to be ignored.

It means when the Governor looks to dismantle local zoning again, our local elected leaders will perform the role of loyal middle managers and follow their marching orders.

I am proud of my campaign despite last night’s disappointing results. 

I was outspent by at least 6:1, probably even 10:1. We managed to turnout our persuadable audience, but at the end of the day we did not have the resources to effectively communicate with them about our message of accountability, transparency, and ambition for Westchester.

Congratulations to Vedat Gashi on the win. I look forward to the rematch.

One day, Sisyphus will get that boulder over the hill. For the next two years, I’ll be busy terraforming that hill so we can navigate it together.