Assemblyman Abinanti: Uncontested but Busy

Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti's visiting the polls today to make sure things run smoothly in the wake of Sandy, and he's fired up against Con Edison's "horrendous" response in Westchester.

Good thing Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (District 92, Dem) is uncontested in his re-run for his seat — he’s got no time for campaigning.

He was talking to me on his cell phone from the backseat of a car heading home from his mother-in-law’s funeral. Between calling out directions to the driver he railed against the “horrendous” response to Sandy from Con Edison in Westchester.

The sight of all the work trucks finally arriving from all over the country as he drove through Mt. Pleasant had him more annoyed than relieved. Yes, at least people were here working out the electrical outages that still plague thousands of residents after seven days, but we shouldn't have had to “wait for the cavalry to arrive" to save us.

In addition to his family matters Monday, Abinanti said he's been busy on the phone dealing, as he has all week, with the “Con Edison fiasco in Westchester County.” 

Visiting sites affected and talking to Con Edison and public officials on conference calls has been “a little hectic," he said. “That has pretty much dominated my time. Fortunately I don’t have an opponent, so I can try to help the public."

His most pressing issue: getting polling stations in order for today’s elections. As of Monday, Abinanti didn’t know where he himself would be voting as his Pleasantville location might be moved from one church to another.

He said today he will be on the move, checking polling locations. All of Greenburgh is in order, save for one place on a generator here in Tarrytown; Mt. Pleasant has five districts served by three locations that will have to be moved.

For our local polling places in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow click here.

Abinanti’s concern is that everything goes smoothly today and he offers his own number if people encounter any issue in their voting process. He said try the county Board of Elections running the elections first (914) 995-5700 and then try his Tarrytown office: (914) 631-1605 if you need assistance.

Abinanti will also be all around his district, helping Democratic candidates do any last minute push to the polls. He’s particularly invested in the outcome of the Nita Lowey race, rerunning for her seat in the House. People may say it’s time for change, he said, “but the end result is change we don’t want.”

He said the only way past the gridlock in Congress is through such a seasoned candidate like Lowey. He calls her “superb, a lot of experience and seniority.”

But back to the storm, which he gravitates to throughout our conversation.

Though we were fortunate, he said, “to not bear the brunt of storm,” Con Edison has nevertheless, “woefully failed us.”

He wanted to save the brunt of his argument for a post-election day (stay tuned) but suffice it say, Abinanti thinks Westchester can “unplug from Con Edison” and find another power provider.

Until then, he stressed the importance in these trying times of getting out and voting, despite any obstacles voters may face. “We’re trying to encourage people to get involved, not to forget there’s an election,” he said. “It’s our greatest privilege as citizens to go out and vote. Use it or lose it.”

Polls are open today from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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