Saul abandons race against Hall


Republican hopes of reclaiming the House seat now held by Democrat John Hall have taken a blow with today’s decision by Andrew Saul to withdraw from the race.

Saul, a businessman and investment manager from Katonah, announced in a statement that he is stepping down as a candidate in the 19th Congressional District “due to personal reasons.”

“I want to thank everyone who has been supportive of this campaign,” Saul said.

While a few Republicans have expressed an interest in running against Hall, Saul appeared to be in the best position to take on the former 70s pop singer. He had already been aggressively raising money for the race.

As of his Oct. 15th report, Saul had raised more than $781,000 for the race.

Hall defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Sue Kelly of Katonah in 2006, winning 51 percent of the vote. National Republicans have already targeted the seat as one of their top priorities in 2008.

UPDATE – Rockland Republican Chairman Vincent Reda and Westchester GOP Chairman Doug Colety both said they were disappointed with Saul’s decision to withdraw from the race but expressed confidence that they would be able to find another candidate.

“We will not be bankrupt for candidates,” Reda said. “They will be coming out of the woodwork for that seat.”


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  1. There is one outstanding candidate who comes to mind for the 19th: outgoing Rockland DA Michael Bongiorno– if enough leaders and grassroots people support him, and if courageous folks contribute enough money to sustain a long campaign.

    Bongiorno is public official of great moral character, with a stellar career in law. He would be a superb congressman.

  2. Correction, with an apology

    Mr. Bongiorno does not live in the 19th CD (my mistake), but is very close to it. He could still run for the office provided he is a resident once his term would hypothetically begin (January 2009).

    Michael Bongiorno would still be a superb congressman.

  3. Kieran Lalor is the only guy who wasn’t being bullied around by Saul in the first place. I had my money on him even when Saul was in the race. He’s an actual conservative, for one thing, and a native of the Hudson Valley, etc etc The Republican establishment would be wise to get behind him.

  4. lalor is off the reservation. if he gets the nomination you might as well write the seat off. not sure if anyone has heard him speak but the guy is loony tunes. god bless him for his selfless service, both in iraq and here at home, but he is not the right candidate.

  5. Greg Ball is a joke, you can not be serious when you mention his name as a candidate for U.S. Congress. Ball is a do nothing Assemblyman who has yet to follow through on any of his campaign promises. Ball is a big failure and the people in his district are starting to understand that they made a mistake in feeding into his tales. I hear Sheriff Don Smith from Putnam County may be considering a run for Congress. He would be a more serious candidate then the jokester Greg Ball.

  6. Go Kieran Lalor! He’s somebody who shares the district’s mainstream conservative values and isn’t beholden to any political machines or party leaders. He’ll kick that fraud Hall’s butt back to Woodstock!

  7. Saul wouldn’t have won, because you can’t say that you’re against MTA fare increases, but then not even show up for MTA board meetings. (He’s vice-chairman of the MTA Board.) Guys who ride limos to work and have weekend places in Westchester aren’t going to make the cut.

    Lalor has being a veteran going for him, but his pro-war/torture/wiretapping stance doesn’t seem to be flying with the GOP higher-ups, nor with many of the 19th’s voters. As a former parochial school teacher, now a brand new law school grad (don’t know if he passed the bar exam yet) he doesn’t have the big-business, big-money schmooze behind him. He’ll probably end up being the GOP’s version of Michael Jaliman, whose sole qualification for running against Kelly seemed to be that he was annoying. These days, favorable blurbs from Sean Hannity and Michelle Malkin are not an asset.

    Ball is a power-hungry putz who loves to get his name in the news. He positions himself as a common guy, but driving around in a Range Rover, and sponsoring polo tournaments don’t quite fit in with the image he tries to portray. He needs to stop ranting about brown people and high taxes, and actually DO something, or he’s going to be out next time around. I’d say he’s about as effective as LOU says Stewart-Cousins is.

  8. the consultant on

    no pro war pro bush candidate is going to beat john
    hall…what the republicans need to do is nominate
    a guy who recognizes the mistakes of the bush cheney
    war policy…and concentrate on the economy stupid
    because by the time whomever it is runs against
    hall between the coming recession..and the AMT
    and local property taxes…the issues will be
    clear..and hall has no clue about how to deal with them

  9. Looks like another candidate is emerging. A vet.

    By the way, Consultant — Early mistakes aside in
    Iraq, and there were many, the Surge now seems
    to be working in a meaningful way.

    You should put aside the Nancy Pelosi and Harry
    Reid playbook, at least as long as real progress
    in Iraq continues — and it does seem to be occurring.

    But yep, a recession is on the near horizon.

  10. Lalor, Walter. Just based on what I read today.

    I have no “inside” information about his plans.
    But as a veteran, and with the possibility Iraq
    is now winnable, he could emerge as a reasonable
    candidate. That’s just a superficial observation at
    this very early stage. But it’s no secret the
    national Republican Party has zeroed in on Hall.

  11. No way the GOP is gonna get behind Lalor. He makes a big deal about going to Pace Law, but since then, the guy works as a security guard. He bills himself as a “national security activist,” which is essentially someone who froths at the mouth any time someone with a grasp on reality dares to question anything about Iraq. (A guy who only gets to Corporal in the Reserves after 6 years is probably not up on the ‘nuances’ of national security, to borrow one of the consultant’s phrases…) Economically, the guy worships Reagan. Tax cuts for rich people and deficit spending ain’t gonna help those of us who aren’t lucky enough to make 6 figure incomes or better. Still waiting for it to trickle down to me…

    If they do actually take him as their candidate, the $$ is gonna be slim.

  12. Lalor unfortunately just does not have the staying power. He shoudl be running for county legislator to develop his credentials.

    Unless a real rockstar with solid experience steps in, Greg Ball is the only reasonable candidate out there. He has the track record, the energy, the message and the branding to take Hall out. Question is, will the NRCC fund a real campaign?

    Ball evidently has been raising money, and lots of it for a re-elect. He also has been doing polling in the larger congressional district as well as the Senate seat. Shoudl be interesting.

  13. GO GREG BALL!!! This guy is going places. I am a self admitted Ball fan.

    The guy is the only maverick out there fighting for the people. The old gaurd is so scared of him…

    Good for GBall!!!