OSCEOLA — Lewis County Sheriff Michael P. Carpinelli officially announced he will be seeking the Republican nomination in the gubernatorial race in 2022.
In a news conference held Thursday morning at the Tug Hill Cross Country Ski Center on Osceola Road, Mr. Carpinelli told the audience of about 25 people of his intention to enter the race.
Hailing from Kingston in Ulster County, Mr. Carpinelli said he attended community college there and served in the Army before joining law enforcement in New Paltz. He eventually moved to Rochester and worked in law enforcement there, too, until his retirement in 2006, when he moved to Osceola.
For almost six years after coming to the area, he worked as a part-time deputy for the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, until he was elected sheriff in 2011.
He ran unopposed and was elected for the third time in November, although his supporters have said on social media they knew of his plan to run for governor for the past year.
Mr. Carpinelli, who was the Republican state campaign co-leader in the 21st Congressional District for President Donald J. Trump during the 2016 election, echoed variations of the president’s campaign slogan throughout his own speech by saying he wants to “make New York great” and make people say “I love New York again.”
Referring to himself as “a conservative Republican originally,” Mr. Carpinelli said he was endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Democratic parties in his first race for sheriff in 2011, but “of course after being four years in office, you know what happened.”
Mr. Carpinelli has been outspoken against Democrats and, particularly, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, concerning gun control laws like the New York SAFE Act and has referred to the governor’s executive orders during the COVID-19 crisis as “unconstitutional” and “unenforceable.”
During his announcement speech, he did not mention the governor by name, but alluded that the state is “under a regime that has not been a fair representative of everyone, hasn’t been fair at all to the police community or all first responders.”
He did not give further explanation of the claim.
“This state can’t be separated. It can’t be taken and seceded like a certain person said he wanted to do. This state can’t silence people like a certain person said he wanted to do,” Mr. Carpinelli said, perhaps alluding to one of the governor’s speeches.
In December 2018, Gov. Cuomo gave a speech at the state Bar Association in which he said, “Let this agenda be New York’s Declaration of Independence. We declare independence from this federal government’s policies. We disconnect from the nationalism, and the racism, and the chaos, and the xenophobia, and the misogyny, and the discrimination, and the dissembling of this Washington administration.”
Mr. Carpinelli said he started his campaign early to “give people hope” and in order to have plenty of time to get his message out across the state in preparation for gaining the 15,000 signatures needed to run.
“As they say, let’s take this train, let’s get it on the tracks, let’s set it up straight and let’s get back to where we say we love it again. I want to hear we love New York again. It’s a beautiful state, I want to go back to that. I want to love it. I want to see it grow. I want to see it prosper,” Mr. Carpinelli said by way of closing, “I want to see us all as a people work together. And we’re going to do this.”
Mr. Carpinelli said he will continue in his sheriff role, trusting his team to “continue to keep [Lewis County residents] safe” and he’ll still be at the office, getting away to campaign when there’s time.
A website is in the works with campaign information that will also allow contributions.