Buffalo businessman and former New York state Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino was the keynote speaker at the Chautauqua County Conservative Party's annual dinner Thursday night at the White Inn in Fredonia.
Paladino, who will be taking a seat on the Buffalo School Board July 1, told the audience of over 100 Conservative Party supporters to count their blessings and be thankful for the elected officials that were present in the room with them, who are all advocating for conservative beliefs every day.
"Because what's going on around us, on any level, is horrific," Paladino said. "The Democrats, together with Rinos, Republicans in name only, treacherous people, for the past few years have been selling us out, sailing us down the river. Tom Reed weathered those storms [during redistricting] ... and I think the hallmark of the district is Chautauqua County."
OBSERVER Photos by Greg Fox
Individuals seated at the head table included, from left to right: U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, Buffalo businessman and former NYS Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, Conservative Party Chairwoman Anna Wilcox and her husband, Larry Wilcox, New York State Sen. Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell.
Paladino went on to say and describe how the progressive movement is "bad for all of us." He cited examples of the New York SAFE Act, the tax burden that is driving businesses out of the state, the controversy surrounding Benghazi, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who Paladino referred to as "despicable in every possible way."
"Only when we make enough noise will we take him down," he said.
Other prominent people who attended the event included U.S. Congressman Tom Reed, New York State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley, and Deputy County Clerk Tracy Haskins. At least 17 Chautauqua County legislators, or candidates seeking election to the legislature, were also in attendance to seek support from the Conservative Party for its endorsements in the upcoming elections.
"D.C. is a city that has a complete lack of common sense," Reed said at the event.
"I come home every weekend ... just to come home to common sense. The hard work, the work ethic, the individual belief structure we all hold so dear here in Chautauqua County, it's just an honor and a privilege to represent you in Washington."
Hanover Town Council-man Wayne Ashley received the Founders Memorial Award at the event for his contributions to the Conservative Party as its vice chairman. Party Chair-woman Anna Wilcox presented the award to him.
"This event has brought tears to my eyes," Wilcox said. She also asked anyone seeking the Conservative Party's nomination to "conduct campaigns based on the issues, think outside the box and be independent thinkers."
"We will be watching to see what happens while you're in office, as well," she said.
The Conservative Party is expected to begin announcing its first round of endorsements for the upcoming elections on Saturday.
Send comments to email@example.com.