Outgoing Rockland DA blames Spitzer visit for defeat

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Outgoing Rockland County District Attorney Mike Bongiorno says a pre-election visit from Gov. Eliot Spitzer is to blame for his defeat.

Bongiorno says he had the New Square community?s vote until Spitzer visited. ?The governor came down Thursday morning before the Tuesday election and by Thursday afternoon I had been told that they were going the other way,? Bongiorno says.

According to the board of elections 1,978 New Square residents cast their ballot for Democrat Tom Zugibe and only 23 voted for Bongiorno.

Bongiorno says he is surprised the people of New Square voted against him because of the great relationship he has with the community. He also says he had a great relationship with Spitzer and can?t believe the governor may have told New Square residents to vote against him.

Spitzer praised Bongiorno for his work six months ago at a press conference announcing a human trafficking bill.

Bongiorno says he doesn?t know what changed since the press conference, but says the recent events have made him think twice about further pursuing a career in the political arena.

Zugibe told News 12 Hudson Valley he believes he won based on the issues he brought up during the campaign.

Calls to New Square officials and the governor's office were not returned.

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