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Contenders for NYS Offices Speak About Their Campaign Goals at Popular GOP Club

Published: July 19, 2022
NYS office candidates at the table from left to right, Mike Zumbluskas, Paul Rodriguez, Sharon Liao, Stefano Forte, Joe Pinion and Cara Castronuova address a crowded room at the Whitestone Republican Club on July 13, 2022. (Image: Eva/Vision Times)

On July 13, several Republican candidates for various state and federal level positions gathered at the Whitestone Republican Club, and addressed a crowd of supporters going into some detail about the issues they believe are a priority for New Yorkers.

In attendance was Stefano Forte, Paul Rodriguez, Joe Pinion, Cara Castronuova and Sharon Liao. 

Forte is running for New York State Senate to represent District 11 in Albany, squaring off against incumbent Toby Ann Stavisky.

According to his campaign website, Forte is running because he believes New Yorkers deserve “better than the corrupt Albany establishment.”

“Our leaders in Albany have failed,” Forte wrote, adding that, “The single-party monopoly has made our state worse in every measurable way.” He said that crime has skyrocketed and that the economy, education, and New Yorker’s quality of life have all plummeted under the current government.

He is running on a broad platform that promises to tackle several issues including public safety, COVID-19 policy, small business stimulus, homeownership for New Yorkers, elder care, education, homelessness and animal welfare. 

Rodriguez is running for New York State Comptroller. Per his campaign website he is a global financial expert “with several decades of experience funding, financing, and investing money at some of the world’s most widely recognized financial institutions”

He worked on Wall Street for more than 25 years at various firms including Salomon Brothers, Merril Lynch, UBS, BBVA, and ANZ. He launched his career as an equity research analyst, later transitioned to a credit analyst and eventually rose to become a global banker working with multinational corporations in the U.S. and internationally. 

Rodriguez is running for state comptroller because he “loves New York” and his platform promises to hold the government accountable, expose major corruption and waste, professionalize pension management, provide greater transparency, increase budgetary oversight and investment in New York.

As State Comptroller, Rodriguez says he will use the Office’s “contracting and investment authority to support and expand the state’s economic base,” and will reverse New York’s economic decline “by tackling the bread-and-butter issues that impact working-class residents, attracting large corporations to create jobs, and empowering small businesses to thrive.”

Joe Pinion is vying to replace incumbent Chuck Schumer in 2024 in the U.S. Senate. Pinion previously served as Chair of the Conservative Color Coalition and was the Outreach Director for the New York Republican Federation. He announced his bid for Senate in January this year. 

Pinion, among other things, is a political commentator who has appeared on numerous news networks including CNN and was most recently a host of his own show “Saturday Agenda” on Newsmax. 

Pinion is not pulling any punches when it comes to critiquing his opponents record alleging Schumer’s apparent support for the “defund the police” movement has contributed to the soaring crime in New York State. 

“You saw a 90 percent increase in shootings in New York City. We saw in many ways a 30 percent increase in homicides all because of the three most dangerous words ever uttered in modern politics: defund the police,” Pinion recently told Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo.”  

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Cara Castronuova is running for NYS Assembly to represent District 22 and is a celebrity in her own right. Once a professional boxer, Castronuova won two Golden Glove championships and at one time was ranked second in the nation by USA Boxing.

An accomplished martial artist, Castronuova had the opportunity to work as both a stunt-woman and stunt coordinator and was credited by NBC for inspiring Season 11 contestants of The Biggest Loser to find “their fighter within.”

Per her campaign website, since early 2020 she has been “fighting unconstitutional lockdowns and mandates,” and claims credit for organizing one of the very first anti-lockdown protests in Albany in March of 2020. 

She says that it is her “privilege” to be one of the few fighting for the political prisoners who are currently suffering in solitary confinement due to their participation in the events of January 6th in the nation’s capital. 

Currently, she regularly appears on Newsmax and writes for the Gateway Pundit as a journalist.

If elected, she promises that the first piece of legislation she will write and propose “will be a bill that guarantees families will never be locked out of a nursing home or hospital again, no matter what the circumstances or if there is another future ‘lockdown.’”

Sharon Liao is running for election to the New York State Assembly to represent District 40, which covers the predominately Chinese American community of Flushing. She is on the ballot in the general election scheduled for November 8, 2022.  

Liao immigrated to the United States when she was 15 from a town in Taiwan. When first coming to the country she lived in a small unfurnished two-bedroom apartment with her parents in Elmhurst, Queens, where she slept on the floor for a year until her family eventually purchased a home of their own. 

An avid volunteer, Liao has served with the Chinese American Justice Alliance and worked on campaigns for State Senator candidate Vickie Paladino and State Assembly candidate David Bressler. 

Currently she is the vice president of Infinity Fortune Group that, in part, assists small business owners in gaining more public exposure.