To run or not to run…


Rumors have been flying that Katonah multi-millionaire Andrew Saul wants to re-enter the race for the District 19 Congressional seat held by Democrat John Hall.

And it seems that Saul, who declared his candidacy as a Republican challenger only to withdraw abruptly in November, has begun polling.

Constancia Warren of Croton got a phone call the other night from what she describes as an “ostensibly unattached pollster” who, it soon became obvious to her (though never admitted), was conducting a push poll for Saul.

After a series of preliminary questions about politics in general, the focus of the 15-minute survey homed in on Saul, Warren said.

What do you think of Andrew Saul? She had never heard of him.

If you found out Saul had such-and-such qualifications and held positions on various boards, would that make a difference?

Would it matter if the candidate spent most of his time in New York City because of his work?

Saul hasn’t responded to phone calls about getting back in the race.

He cited “personal reasons” when he dropped out. That announcement came soon after the New York Times reported his campaign had received donations from real estate executives involved in the bidding for the development rights to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s West Side railyards in Manhattan.

Saul is a vice chairman of the MTA.

Hall already has two declared Republican challengers – Westchester Legislator George Oros, a Cortlandt Republican and the Board of Legislators’ minority leader, and Iraq War veteran Kieran Michael Lalor of Peekskill.


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  2. From Westchester on

    Among the problems of a Saul candidacy vs Congressman Hall is that Mr. Saul’s record of public service indicates a lack of committment. When the MTA was in the process of raising fares, Saul skipped all the public meetings held in the 19th congressional district.

    I can see the John Hall ad now:

    “Andrew Saul is a businessman… He lives well… Governor Pataki asked Andrew Saul to serve on the MTA board. Andrew Saul said, ‘Yes.’
    “But when fares were being raised on Metro North, and public hearings were held in the 19th congressional district, Andrew Saul wasn’t there… Zero… Andrew Saul attended NONE of the MTA public hearings in his home heath…
    “If Andrew Saul can’t find the time to honor his committments to public service in his own backyard, how will he find the time top serve in Washington?”

    You get the idea. Anyone want to volunteer to write the ads about the real estate developers?

    I know, admire, and respect George Oros. I think he has a solid record of public accomplishment. Check it out. Someone said he can’t raise the money. Either he can or he can’t. We will know that soon. But if he raises the money, then George Oros 1. can win this election and 2. serve with distinction.

    Think about it.

  3. It might be the GOP looking to get Saul back in the race. Look at the $$. Saul actually raised $1.4 million before he dropped out, and still has $82K cash on hand. Proven fundraising ability, plus he can also self-finance a big chunk of his campaign. Lalor’s “massive” grassroots campaign has only netted him $30K. George Oros can probably raise somewhere in the middle of those two. (Oros’ filings are not online yet.)

    Hall, in the meantime, has just over $1M on hand.

  4. Walt I think republicans need your advice like the japanese needed Roosevelt’s.

    westchester, based on your past posts its hard to imagine you’re not george himself, his wife, or one of his two kids. get a life.

    Republicans would be mking a big mistake going back to saul . it will be either lalor or Oros and I think Oros is a greysuited party hack who cant westchester and cant win outside of westchester

  5. The old thinking was that a multi-millionaire pol was a pol who couldn’t be bought. Now, with campaigns getting as expensive as they are, you can throw that old adage out with the orange peels.

  6. So Walt, are you saying that Saul spent $1.3 million before dropping out? If that is the case, that seems pretty incredible to spend so much money so far out.

  7. Saul might say he can’t be bought, but his sudden interest in the financial welfare of every city, town, and county Republican office in the district suggests he thought THEY could be bought. What else is it if not an attempt at bribery? He had no interest in them before he was running.

    back to manhattan andy

  8. The poll was not a push poll. A push poll is not a real poll. A push poll is a call to try to get votes for a candidate that is disguised as a poll.

  9. George Oros is the best qualified Republican candidate for this office. Some simple money man whose egomania drives him to run for office, such as Saul, should be abandoned at once by anybody in the GOP who wants to reclaim this seat.

  10. the consultant on

    It is very very difficult for a candidate with no
    connection to the district to pursuade voters
    to oust an incumbant who lives and breathes constituent
    services in the or no money you cannot
    buy credibility

  11. Oros wont be able to convince the upstate counties in the district that he has more in common with them than saul will.

    Lalor will surprise some folks, he already has won establishment support in putman orange et al

  12. From Westchester on

    Mr. Dorman,

    I hope I made it clear that I like, respect and admire Mr. Oros. I did not mean to fly under false colors. I have known Mr. Oros for more than a decade. In that time, my opinion of him has continued to rise.

    Why, Mr. Dorman, do you choose to say nasty things about me. I don’t see the point. For the record, it happens that I am not related to Mr. Oros.

    I think it is useful that people who know Mr. Lalor speak of his virtues. My concern, based on my reading of Mr. Lalor’s web site is that he hasn’t mastered the issues of the 19th Congressional District. Not so incidently, I note that none of our fellow correspondants has chosen to speak of Mr. Saul’s virtues. My hypothetical negative ad concerning Mr. Saul was designed to show others the risks of nominating a candidate who could self finance, but who could not present a record that would encourage a voter to support him.

    Republicans would do well to remember that Mr. Hall has been a hard working, competent representative. The problem with Mr. Hall is that he works hard and diligiently for policies that are mistaken. He will be defeated by a candidate who can work and wonk with integrity. I question only Mr. Lalor’s wonk. Alas, Mr. Saul’s record allows an opponent to question his integrity. Mr. Oros impresses me on all three qualities.

  13. Dorman is right: “From Westchester” is either Oros or a shill for him. And he or she offers nothing of substance on Oros, just as Oros himself offers nothing of substance in a Congressional run.

    I’ve been watching this from the outset, and Lalor looks like the only one with the drive, grasp of the issues, clear vision, organization and clear vision to take the district back from that empty suit who should go back to smoking his bong in Woodstock.

  14. Blah Blah- Those numbers are from the FEC website. Saul raised a total of $1.4M. His net disbursements were $1.3M, leaving him with Cash on Hand of just over $82K. Those are the only numbers in that report, doesn’t say where or when he spent it.

    I’m with the consultant, Saul’s only connection to Westchester is his weekend house in Katonah, and the fact that he sits on a board that raises mass transit fares and bridge tolls every chance they get. I’m sure that will come across real well with the general public. Whether you like George Oros or not, at least he has a record of public service that involves more than charging the public more $$. The only thing Lalor has going for him is that he lives here and is idealistic.

  15. Oros is no empty suit. He’s smart and talented. Unfortunately, since some people don’t pay attention to local govt, they think all people who are local are uninteresting just becuase they’re not RICH or a CELEBRITY.

    Oros developed a workable coalition in an increasingly Democratic County Legislature to win battles during the two years he was Chairman, and for a few years after that when he had reasonable Democrats like George Latimer. Now that Bill Ryan and his SuperMajority have taken over, what do you expect Oros to do? He criticizes the abuses of the Dems, makes credible arguments, and votes NO on bad policy. If he were famous, you’d know his record, you’d have seen him in action, and you know he’d be a sharp Congressman. More to the point, if anybody out who fancies themselves a watcher of politics really watched White Plains, Albany or Town Halls, you’d know there are a cadre of talented people there. Ahhh, but they’re N O B O D I E S…

    The same Money Buys Everything gave you Governor Eliot Spitzer, Senator Hillary Clinton, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Atty Gen Andrew Cuomo – any conservatives in there?

    Realize that Oros is mart and able, and get the Republican money bags-types to get to know him. Do you want to win for Congress or just fool around?????????