Republican Senate candidate Bob Cohen, who is running against Democratic Assemblyman George Latimer, said during a radio interview today he would be support a minimum-wage increase and would push for a “phase out” of using the Indian Point nuclear power plant.
Cohen, who Wednesday called himself “an underdog,” “a reformer” and “someone who is fighting the status quo,” will vie for the Westchester seat now held by retiring Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, a Democrat.
On a public radio talk show, Cohen said he would vote for an increase in the minimum wage, a contentious issue likely to come up next session. He said he wouldn’t support an immediate closing of Indian Point, a nuclear power plant in Westchester that Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to shut down, but he would like to see the region “phase out” its use.
His positions on these issues might suggest his voting record would be bi-partisan if elected — the minimum wage increase, in particular, is supported mostly by Democrats — but he prefers to be seen as “a post partisan individual,” he said.
“People try to paint me as that I’m somehow only supporting the Republican party line,” he said. “And, you know, I differ with members within the Republican party on an issue like this (minimum wage).
“I think it’s something that we need to sit down and work it out,” he continued. “I want to work with the other side. I want to find those common solutions.”
He criticized his opponent, Latimer, for voting against the 2 percent property-tax cap, which took effect last year.
“I’ve met family after family that have told me they cannot afford to continue to live in Westchester County because their property bill has gotten out of hand,” he said.
Cohen addressed today’s Siena College poll that showed him 3 points behind Latimer. As the poll has a 4.6-point margin of error, the difference is considered statistically insignificant.
“It is a dead heat,” he said. “Quite frankly, I am happy where we are in the poll. Obviously I’d like to be up a couple of points. But to be within the margin of error … that puts me in a great position to eventually win this race. I’m comfortable where we are.”
Here’s the latest ad in this tight race, a mailer from the state Republican party knocking Latimer’s record: