Cuomo headlines Spano rally (which featured an admission fee)

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Continuing his recent trend of throwing support behind a bevy of Democrats in local races, Gov. Andrew Cuomo headlined a rally yesterday morning for Yonkers mayoral candidate Mike Spano, reiterating a spirited endorsement of the Democratic Assemblyman with less than 48 hours before the polls open.

While Cuomo has endorsed more than fifty local candidates this election cycle, Spano is just the third candidate Cuomo has appeared at a political event for.

“We need change, and we need it now,” Cuomo said at the rally (via a News12 report), echoing a similar statement he gave at a rally for Erie County executive candidate Mark Poloncarz last week. “And in this election, change is called Mike Spano.”

The event was billed by Spano’s campaign as a “get out the vote” rally. But unlike most GOTV events — which are designed to energize supporters and encourage a higher voter turnout among a candidate’s base — it also appeared to have been a fundraiser.

The event included an admission fee of $40, according to Spano’s website, with a table of 10 going for $350. Spano campaign spokesman Jason Baker said about 750 people showed up to the Polish Community Center, though the entrance fee wasn’t strictly enforced and that “there really wasn’t any money made.”

“The purpose of (the fee) was to pay for the cost of renting the place for the day and food and all of that stuff,” Baker said. “We didn’t really make much money on it, it was more so to pay for the costs of organizing the event.”

Baker said he didn’t have a count of how many tickets were sold.

Spano’s Republican opponent, Yonkers City Councilman John Murtagh, didn’t think much of the Cuomo appearance. Murtagh, flanked by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, said (again via News12) at his own campaign event Sunday that the Spano rally “may have been the largest gathering of Mike Spano’s friends and family since the grand jury was in town three years ago,” a reference to an investigation Murtagh has used as an attack against Spano.

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  1. They don’t know how many tickets were sold and they “‘really’ didn’t make much money.” Get ready for four years of this gamesmanship. Astorino’s comment is damning.