N.Y. Husband Running Against Wife Drops Out of Race


The political feud between a New York assemblywoman and her estranged husband is officially over.  Republican Mark Schimel, who decided to challenge his wife, Democrat Michelle Schimel, for the assembly seat she has held for three terms, has officially dropped out of the race.

Mark Schimel emailed Frank Moroney, chairman of the North Hempstead Republican Committee on Long Island, late Monday evening to inform him of his withdrawal from the race.

"Since being nominated last Thursday, I have been inundated with calls from the media that focused on matters extraneous to the campaign and the issues facing our state," Mark Schimel wrote in the email to Moroney that was provided to ABC News.  "It is clear to me that any effort to have an honest debate about lowering property taxes, improving our economy and making elected officials more responsive to taxpayers will be impossible given the media's proclivity for sensationalizing the news."

But Mark Schimel didn't leave it at that.  He proceeded to criticize Michelle Schimel, to whom he is still married, for her stance on the real property tax cap.

"It also seems that the Democrats are frightened by the fact that the taxpayers of the 16th AD will learn that the incumbent Assembly member voted against the real property tax cap, which makes it harder for senior citizens to afford to remain in North Hempstead and New York State and discourages young adults from moving here!"

Michelle Schimel welcomed her husband's decision to leave the race, calling his entry a "distraction" from matters of importance to her constituents.

"There is serious work to be done in the New York State Assembly, and this matter was only a distraction from the important work being done in my government office," Michelle Schimel said in a statement.  "I will continue to work towards preventing gun violence, protecting our environment, bringing resources to the educational system, and moving the state economy forward.  I look forward to continuing to represent the people of the 16th Assembly District."

The Nassau County GOP Thursday gave the Republican nomination for the district to Mark Schimel, despite concerns that he was running against his estranged wife for personal reasons.

Married for 32 years, the Schimels have two children but separated a year ago.  They have yet to formally divorce.

Moroney said there is a committee on vacancies that will fill the GOP spot, and the decision should be made in several days.