Trio starts new party, joint campaign in Suffern

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Three people with previously different political allegiances kicked off a new party and joint campaign Monday in Suffern.

The trio -- Republican Bill Weber, independent Shani Bechhofer and Democrat Grant Valentine -- is running on the newly formed A New Direction for Ramapo ticket.

Weber, a certified public accountant, is running for Ramapo town supervisor following the May fraud and conspiracy convictions of former Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence.

"We've been subjected to trials and corruption in Ramapo," Weber says. "We want to give people back faith in government."

Ramapo voter Frank Dailey was among nearly 70 people gathered in Suffern to hear the candidates speak on the issues facing the town.

"Right now, I'm excited that these people have come together with one purpose, to eliminate corruption in Ramapo," he says.

Political newcomer Shani Bechhofer is an independent running for Town Council.

"There's work to be done," she says. "It needs to be done by smart, caring people who have their values straight."

Valentine, also running for a Town Council seat, says he'll put an end to the rising taxes and political scandals that have plagued Ramapo in recent months.

"You need faith in government. You need people to believe that government works for the people," Valentine says.

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