He talked like a Democrat and walked like a Democrat.
In fact, he repeatedly called himself “the real Democrat,” and put that slogan on his campaign signs when he tried to take the Democratic Party nomination for Westchester County DA away from Janet DiFiore. Castro made much political hay out of former Republican DiFiore’s defection to the Democratic side.
Castro’s real-Democrat strategy failed miserably. He lost in a landslide to DiFiore in the Sept. 15 primary. Nevertheless, he still had the Working Families and Independence party lines on the November ballot.
For the last couple of weeks, rumors were flying that Castro was going to work out some sort of deal with the GOP, that he would skip the DA’s race and go for a judgeship. Given all of Castro’s chest-thumping about being the true Democrat in a race against a pretender, the rumors seemed unbelievable.
I discussed that possibility with Dan Schorr, the Republican DA candidate on my “High Noon” radio program last week.
And now it’s come true, as confirmed today by staff writer Jonathan Bandler’s story.
Like a couch that magically unfolds into a bed, Castro converted. He’s a Castro convertible, alright. This is nothing short of an embarrassment to the genuine Democrats who supported him and believed he meant all that stuff about party loyalty.
One can only conclude that a faustian deal was made. Without a major party endorsement, Castro obviously figured he couldn’t beat DiFiore in the general election. And neither did Castro’s sponsors, Independence Party chief Giulio Cavallo and Sam Zherka, the wealthy strip club owner and publisher of the Westchester Guardian.
Zherka and Cavallo despise DiFiore– that’s a well-documented fact. Cavallo has the greatly diminished GOP party in Westchester by the short hairs and the Republicans can’t risk alienating him. So the deal was struck. This way, Schorr will get the coveted Independence Party endorsement, thus becoming a much stronger candidate against DiFiore.
That’s how much the Cavallo-Zherka alliance want DiFiore out. Castro became their willing stooge. (Schorr told me on “High Noon” that, unlike Castro, he would not accept campaign donations from the controversial Zherka.)
There was a time, long ago, when Castro looked like an up-and-comer in the ranks of Westchester politics. Now he just looks like another desperate character looking for a job.
What a shame. He ought to take those signs down right away.