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Republicans Gear up for Primary Battle in McCarthy's District

Long Beach Tea Party hosts forum with Francis Becker and Frank Scaturro, the candidates vying for the Republican nomination to face incumbent Carolyn McCarthy in the 4th Congressional District that now encompasses most of Wantagh.

Nassau County Legis. Francis Becker, R-Lynbrook, and Frank Scaturro, who will vie for the Republican nomination in Fourth Congressional District to face incumbent Carolyn McCarthy, D-Mineola, this fall, brought their campaigns to the Long Beach Tea Party last week.

The organizations members packed the Long Beach Library’s auditorium on May 29 to hear both candidates speak and filed some of their questions about local and federal taxes, ObamaCare, the Department of Education, gas prices and drilling for oil, as well as the broader Tea Party movement itself. At one point, the informal forum got personal and raucous.

The Fourth Congressional District  under a redistricting plan  by a three-judge Federal Court panel. The entire Wantagh community had previously been covered by Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford. 

“We pledged to the residents of Nassau County that we would not raise taxes,” said Becker, a lifelong Lynbrook resident who has represented the Sixth Legislative District since 1996. “I am proud to say that over the last two years, we have had a budget where we did not raise taxes.”

But Scaturro, a Hempstead resident who worked on the Senate Judiciary Committee as counsel for the Constitution, contends that has not made the case for why he’s suited for higher office.  “We are not going to fix Washington’s fiscal house with someone who cannot even fix Nassau County’s fiscal house,” he said.

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In 2010, Becker and Scaturro faced each other in the Republican primary for Congress. Becker emerged victorious, but lost to McCarthy that November by a respectable margin of 12,345 votes, the incumbent’s narrowest victory to date.

At last week's forum, Becker and Scaturro attacked each other’s backgrounds and records, as well as McCarthy’s. “If Becker is the nominee, we can look forward to two more years of a Congresswoman that we rarely see and has not represented the constituents of her district,” said Scaturro, a graduate of Columbia University and University of Pennsylvania Law School who taught legislative process and Constitutional law at Hofstra Law School.

Becker, a certified financial planner, said: “I am hoping with your support, we will beat her [McCarthy] this year and send her into retirement fully and let her go out to the Hamptons, where she really wants to be anyway.”

The evening heated up when, during his speech, Scaturro revisited the 2010 primary. At that time, Becker had accused Scaturro of “being a Democrat” while Scaturro served as Constitutional counsel, and Becker went so far as to distribute flyers saying as much. At the Long Beach Tea Party forum, Becker's accusations were again brought up by a Long Beach resident during the question and answer period. Becker said he hadn’t changed his opinion on Scaturro's service.

Near the end of the forum, Scaturro wanted to clarify the situation, but moderator Frank McQuade, president of the local Tea Party, reminded him that the forum was not a debate. But with the chant of the crowd to let Scaturro speak, McQuade granted him permission and Becker chose that moment to exit the room and leave for the night.

Scaturro said that Becker accusation referred to his service on the Senate Judiciary Committee in April 2009, when Arlen Specter, a Republican senator from Pennsylvania and the chairman and longest ranking member of the committee, decided to switch political parties and became a Democrat. Scaturro said that he worked on the Republican side.

“My co-workers and I would rather go jobless in the worst economy of our lives than to have crossed over and join Senator Specter on his personal staff.” Scaturro continued. “There are a good number of my co-workers who saw that flyer that would love to give him (Becker) a piece of their mind, if they ever had to chance to combat that sleaze.” 

McCarthy’s office declined to comment for this story.

What do you think of the Republican candidates in the Fourth Congressional District? Tell us in the comments below. 

Robert Demarco June 07, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Thank God I remain in Peter King's district and do not have to make a choice between Nassau Republican Party hacks and the one issue Democratic Congresswoman.
EJ48 June 07, 2012 at 12:39 PM
At least McCarthy has a position on a grave issue. I thought all King was interested in was his own publicity. I thank God I'm no longer in his district, so I guess God is the big winner here.
Robert Demarco June 07, 2012 at 02:02 PM
King makes sure that the Homeland Security money goes where it is needed most: NYC Washington DC, etc. If left to the Obama wealth redistributors, Casper Wyoming would probably get a piece of the pie. This is a serious issue and I am glad that Mr. King is looking out for New York.
Adam Salvo June 08, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Robert, Republicans and Conservatives in our district are tired of Nassau Republican hacks as well! That's why the true Conservatives are rallying behind Frank Scaturro and not Fran Becker who is a puppet for Joe Mondello and the Establishment. Also, we are even happier Peter King is NOT our Congressman as his attacks on the 2nd Amendment and deficit financing policies are at times just as bad as Carolyn McCarthy.

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