Racism claims surface in county exec. debate

Allegations of racism surfaced during a Wednesday debate between incumbent Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano and Republican challenger Robert Astorino.

In August, Westchester County agreed to settle a federal housing lawsuit that will cost at least $50 million to market affordable housing in primarily white communities. During the debate, Spano admitted he made a mistake in demanding the county board approve the settlement quickly.

Astorino said he was glad that the Mount Pleasant Town Board, on which he served, never took HUD money that came with the affordable housing stipulation.

"[Board members] don't want people in there that might come in if they took the money," Spano retorted, drawing applause.

On Thursday, however, Spano acknowledged that race is not necessarily a factor in the opposition.

Spano and Astornio will face off again at the News 12 Westchester studios next Wednesday.

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