NY GOP Nominates Ex-NYPD Detective to Challenge US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Defeated candidate Josh Eisen is vowing to collect signatures to primary GOP nominee Mike Sapraicone in June.
NY GOP Nominates Ex-NYPD Detective to Challenge US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
(L) Mike Sapraicone in Binghamton, N.Y., on Feb. 22, 2024. (Courtesy of the Broome County Republican Committee). (R) Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks in Dubuque, Iowa, on March 19, 2019. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Juliette Fairley
More than 100 New York state Republicans voted yesterday to nominate retired New York Police Department detective Mike Sapraicone as their candidate for the U.S. Senate to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in November’s general election.
Mr. Sapraicone received some 80 percent of the weighted vote of GOP county chairs and state committee members, according to Broome County GOP data. The state Republican nominating convention was hosted by the Broome County GOP in Binghamton.

The 76-year-old currently lives in Nassau County and is endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato, Reps. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), Nick Lalota (R-N.Y.), Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), the Nassau County GOP, and others.

“Mike is a perfect fit and that’s not a knock on the other candidates,” Benji Federman, chairman of the Broome County Republican Committee, told The Epoch Times. “He’s going to be able to speak to our Republican message very well [by] addressing public safety, crime, stimulating our economy, and getting the cost of living prices down from his background in law enforcement and as a business owner.”

Following his NYPD career, Mr. Sapraicone launched a successful international security company. He won the nomination over businessman Josh Eisen, 51, and 44-year old athlete Cara Castronuova.

“I’m the best candidate out there right now,” Mr. Sapraicone told The Epoch Times. “I have over 20 years of experience in law enforcement and over 30 years in business. I have strong ties to the community and I’m a local kid from Queens.”

Ms. Castronuova was endorsed by the Staten Island Republican Party, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Roger Stone, advisor to former U.S. President Donald Trump, while Mr. Eisen is backed by former Gov. George Pataki, the New York Young Republican Club, the Brooklyn Republican Committee, and Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.).
Mr. Eisen is not taking the defeat lying down. He’s vowing to collect signatures to get on the ballot.
“It’s a sad and unfortunate day for the New York Republican Party,” Mr. Eisen told The Epoch Times. “The party is not unified. The rank and file was ignored. Young Republicans were latered by an establishment that can’t win without them. Today, the party bosses spoke. The rest of the GOP gets the last word in the June primary.”
Attendees at the New York GOP nominating convention vote on Feb. 22, 2024. (Courtesy of Broome County GOP)
Attendees at the New York GOP nominating convention vote on Feb. 22, 2024. (Courtesy of Broome County GOP)
Mr. Eisen, co-chairman of the George Pataki Foundation, must collect 15,000 signatures that include at least 100 or 5 percent of enrolled voters from each of one-half of the state’s congressional districts, according to the New York State Board of Elections website.
“I was planning to do the signatures all along,” Mr. Eisen said in an interview. “I have a signature operation in place because I want to be the kind of candidate who helps down ballot candidates and signatures is one way I can do that. So, I was ready to be involved in the signature effort regardless.”
The Gateway Pundit reported that Mr. Sapraicone’s firm, Squad Security Inc., donated money to Democrats, including $1,000 to New York Attorney General Letitia James on March 8, 2022.
When asked about his contributions to the opposing political party, Mr. Sapraicone told The Epoch Times that he’s given some money to Democrats and also $500,000 to Republicans.
“You have to show that you’re supportive,” he said. “You don’t have to be so supportive of the policies necessarily. Policies change. Issues change. This was over the course of years. It’s not like I sat down last month and wrote a check to the Democrats and the Republicans.”

Mr. Sapraicone was named in a wrongful conviction lawsuit filed by Robert Majors who alleges he was improperly incarcerated in 1997 due to the alleged actions of NYPD detectives and Queens prosecutors who are accused of withholding evidence of his innocence.

Mr. Majors also alleged that he was the victim of police brutality when he was handcuffed to a chair and beaten after being arrested for armed robbery—a crime he swore he did not commit.

The lawsuit was settled in 2022 for $3.3 million after Mr. Majors spent some 20 years in prison.

“I was one of the investigating detectives, not the arresting detectives,” Mr. Sapraicone said. “I don’t think anybody else talking has ever been a police officer who worked the streets of New York for 20 years and has taken away people’s freedom, bad people, not good people.

“This was a prosecutorial misconduct situation, not an arresting situation. That was 27 years ago. I never had an opportunity to testify because it never went to court. The city settles lawsuits all the time,” he said.

After the vote, there was a fundraising luncheon where House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) appeared in support of Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.), who is running for reelection in the House.

“I’m honored as a young Republican county chair to be in the trenches with Mike Johnson and Marc Molinaro fighting to keep the house majority,” Mr. Federman said. “This is a top five district that the Democrats are targeting to flip.”

Juliette Fairley is a freelance reporter for The Epoch Times and a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Born in Chateauroux, France, and raised outside of Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, Juliette is a well-adjusted military brat. She has written for many publications across the country. Send Juliette story ideas at [email protected]
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