Minew, Lopez (and maybe Aiello) seek to unseat Allen in legislature

district-2-candidatesThree definites and a wild card. The ​race for Democrat Chris Allen’s District 2 seat on the County Legislature has begun.

District 2 includes the village, Barclay Heights and Malden.

Allen said he will run for re-election. School Board member Angie Minew and marketing consultant Santos Lopez said this week they intend to seek the Republican Party nod in the primary, to be held this summer.

After confirming her intention to run, Minew declined to be interviewed until after the primary. Lopez had no such compunction.


But the man who had the  most to say about the job is still on the fence. After 18 years in office, former Republican and Saugerties institution Bob Aiello lost to Allen two years ago. He said he’s seriously considering running as an independent in November.

Allen spoke at length about his having secured positions on three of the Legislature’s committees, including the critical Ways and Means and Economic Development committees.


Chris Allen

Allen characterized himself as a fiscal conservative and a “practical” Democrat who has made a point of working equitably with members of both parties during his first term.

He attributed his surprise victory over Aiello as the result of constant attendance at Village, Town and School Board meetings.

“It’s important,” he said. “If I ever find myself seeking higher office, it’s like basic training. It creates a reservoir of practice.”


Bob Aiello

Bob Aiello sounded every bit as surprised — and as angry — earlier this week as he was following his loss to Allen two years ago. Aiello said he’d like nothing better than to run again, and he’s confident he would win, but running without party support would be a daunting effort.

“If I run, I’ll run as an independent. If they offered it to me, I wouldn’t take [the Republican Party’s] endorsement,” he said.

Party politics, he said, is not for him: “I feel like a tool making the rich richer.”

In 2013, Aiello had the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines and the support of five labor unions, he said. And he still lost.

“What do you do with a guy like me? You gotta get rid of him… You can’t be yourself. I was the guy not on the team.”

If he runs, Aiello said he’ll rely on the fact that “people like me.”

“It’s not an issue, being liked by your party.”

Though, he later conceded, running for the job would be a lot easier if he had party workers to campaign for him.

In the end, he said he’s not closing the door on running if only because, “I happen to like the fight.”


Santos Lopez

This will be Santos Lopez’s second try for public office. He mounted a candidacy for Town Board in 2013 but wasn’t able to secure the Republican nomination.

Lopez was born in the Philippines and, as he likes to put it, he has spent most of his 47 years in service to his country. He was a U.S. Navy corpsman on active duty for six years and has been a member of the New York National Guard for 14 years.

He’s also a former professional paintball player and coach. He makes his living as a freelance marketing consultant.

Why does he want to serve on the Legislature?

“Because I’ve always served,” he said. “My feeling is, if you see something that’s wrong you need to do something about it, you can’t just walk away.”

Among the things he sees as being wrong are high property taxes.

Lopez includes his experience in marketing along with his military experience as the basis for his candidacy.