Vickie Paladino, the Republican nominee for the 11th State Senate district, said in an interview last week that she’s been getting threats from Antifa following a Gothamist piece that linked her campaign to far-right groups such as the Proud Boys.
“This is a serious domestic terrorist group,” she said, referring to the anti-fascist group. “They hurt people, they’re for real.”
Paladino said in addition to the threats, she’s angry that images of her son and campaign director, Thomas Paladino, have been posted on Antifa sites.
“If anybody touches a hair on my kid’s head, there will be a price to pay,” she said, warning that she would get the NYPD and FBI involved. “How dare you take it out on my son?”
The Republican nominee will face off against Democrat John Liu and incumbent Tony Avella, who is running on the Independence and Women’s Equality Party lines, on November 6. Conservative Party candidate Simon Minching, who lost to Paladino in the GOP primary, will also be on the ballot, though he has stopped campaigning.
The Gothamist article examined Paladino’s social media accounts, showing posts and retweets that appear to be racist or anti-Semitic. But Paladino called the reporter who wrote the piece a “damn liar,” and denied any affiliation with alt-right groups.
“I don’t believe extremism on any side, left or right,” she said. “That breeds contempt and hatred. I don’t go for that.
“I’m not radical,” Paladino added. “I’m common sense.”
The Republican candidate has taken mostly conservative positions on local issues. She’s against the closing of Rikers Island and the opening of community jails. She’s against the idea of injection sites. She’s against the building of homeless hotels.
More broadly, she’s against over-taxing businesses, and against overdevelopment in her district. She opposes the changing of the admission process to the city’s specialized high schools.
With the “blue wave” of Democratic voters expected in the general election, Paladino said she wants to preserve the Republican majority in the State Senate. She noted that three seats in Long Island, currently held by the GOP, are in jeopardy.
“We need checks and balances, we cannot go to a one-party state,” Paladino said. “It’s become too far left. It would just change everything.”
But she also said she’s willing to cross the aisle and work with anyone, including Democrats and independents.
“There are so many level-headed people out there,” she said. “Let’s not focus on the radicalism.”