Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino was endorsed by the Westchester Hispanic Law Enforcement Association Tuesday in what is leaders said was an unusually early pick in the race.
“Today we decided we did not have to wait,” said Hector Lopez, the vice president of the association, at a press conference at Don Coqui restaurant in White Plains.
“The county executive has been a true friend of law enforcement, both Hispanic and non-Hispanic,” he said. “Westchester residents have been well served by his leadership.”
Astorino said he was honored by the endorsement.
“Government’s number one focus should be public safety, protection of the citizens, whether it’s a strong law enforcement in local communities, or state, or of course the federal government, to make sure we have a strong military to protect us here and abroad,” he said.
Lopez, a sergeant at the Westchester County Jail, said the largely Democratic organization endorsed the incumbent, Andy Spano, in 2009 but he talked through the pros and cons and convinced the members to support Astorino, a Republican, this year. The organization considers the individual and has endorsed candidates from both parties, he said.
Astorino is being challenged by Democratic New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.
Photo: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, left, chats with members of the Westchester Hispanic Law Enforcement Association before the group announced its endorsement of his candidacy Tuesday in White Plains.