Butler: I am proud to stand with Robert Smullen

When I made the difficult decision last year to retire from the New York State Assembly, I truly hoped we would see a fair and thoughtful election here in the 118th District

Instead, we have witnessed a campaign that has devolved into a relentless series of mean-spirited personal attacks on an honorable man, Mr. Robert Smullen. Is it any wonder, after what we are now witnessing, that it is difficult to find candidates to run for office?

In one instance, former candidate Philip Paige suddenly withdrew from the race and announced his support for Patrick Vincent. In Mr. Paige’s various statements, he proclaimed his support of the truth and transparency. In that spirit, I would ask him to issue a public statement that there has been absolutely no discussions with Mr. Vincent about a potential staff position should Mr. Vincent prevail in the election. As I’m sure both men recognize, offering a job to anyone — especially a fellow candidate — during a campaign is highly unethical.

Mr. Smullen is a man of integrity and honor who has served his country and his community for many years. He has been forthright regarding the tax assessment issue he faces (by the way, he was not arrested; he was issued an appearance ticket. There is a difference). I, for one accept Mr. Smullen’s explanation.

Most people facing the series of personal attacks that Mr. Smullen has endured would undoubtedly be discouraged and fed up. Much to his credit, he has determined to fight on, twice as hard.

I am proud to stand with him.

ASSEMBLYMAN MARC BUTLER

Newport, Herkimer County