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Dillon, Latimer Square Off In Lively LWV Of White Plains Forum

Republican Joseph Dillon, left, and state Sen. George Latimer, D-Rye, at the start of Wednesday's forum.
Republican Joseph Dillon, left, and state Sen. George Latimer, D-Rye, at the start of Wednesday's forum. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

This story has been updated.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- State Sen. George Latimer, a Democrat from Rye, and Republican challenger Joseph Dillon of Yonkers spelled out their differences Wednesday Oct. 22 during a candidates' forum at the White Plains Public Library.

For instance:

Dillon favors term limits; Latimer no longer opposes them. "We need to clear out Albany,'' DIllon said. Latimer instead said he supports reforming the redistricting process and adopting "early voting" to give more voters a chance to participate in the process.

Dillon is a strong opponent of Common Core curriculum and blamed Latimer for his support of early "race to the top" legislation that he said led New York to be the first state to adopt Common Core. Latimer called Dillon's remarks a distortion, saying he is a leading critic of Common Core and that the Assembly votes cited by Dillon had nothing to do with its adoption.

"I would vote to repeal it,'' Dillon said. "Your DNA is all over Common Core,'' Dillon said of Latimer, who replied, "Your DNA is all over misrepresenting my record."

"I'm no 'Joey come lately' to this issue,'' Latimer said. "That's a fact and as they used to say in baseball, you can look it up."

The forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of White Plains was attended by more than 100 area residents; a recording will be posted at

Both candidates also offered different solutions to reducing the tax burden on New Yorkers.

"I think the key is mandate relief,'' said Latimer, noting that 40 percent of Westchester's total tax levy is due to Medicaid mandates. "I am a co-sponsor of a bill to phase that out," he said, noting that personal income tax rates have been reduced to their lowest level in 58 years.

Dillon said new tax relief needs to be adopted for senior citizens and corporations. Meanwhile, Westchester school districts pay the highest taxes in the nation, but only receive half the per pupil state aid compared to the rest of New York state, Dillon said.

Both Dillon and Latimer said they are sensitive to the needs of minorities. Latimer said he was the only white kid in his Mount Vernon neighborhood as a child. Dillon is founding member of the American Black Male Leadership Institute.

Prior LWV debates in Mamaroneck on Oct. 8 can be viewed here and in Rye on Oct. 15 can be viewed here:

The two candidates also debated at The Osborn in Rye, and Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers.

Three more debates are planned:  -- Monday., Oct. 27 - New Rochelle City Hall at 7 p.m.; -- Tuesday., Oct. 28 - On-air Live WVOX 1460-AM, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; -- Thursday, Oct. 30 - On-air live WFAS 1230-AM, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The 37th Senate District includes Bedford, North Castle, Harrison, Rye, Mamaroneck, Eastchester; and parts of New Rochelle, White Plains and Yonkers.

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