Gia Arnold backs Destino, a Democrat, for State Senate

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Gia Arnold worked hard for several months to secure the Republican line for the State Senate, but lost a Sept. 9 primary to Robert Ortt, the mayor of North Tonawanda.

Today, she is coming out in support of Johnny Destino, a lawyer in Niagara Falls who is running under the Democratic Party line. Destino ran as a Republican two years ago in an unsuccessful attempt to get the GOP line from George Maziarz.

Maziarz announced in late July he wasn’t seeking re-election. Ortt was picked by Republican Party leaders to be a last-second switch for Maziarz.

Arnold, 24, had already been working on a campaign against Maziarz. She said the party leaders picked an establishment candidate rather than backing her. She would later withdraw from the race after admitting an affair, but jumped back in after support from residents in the district, she said.

Ortt won the primary on Sept. 9, getting 71 percent of the vote.

Arnold still had a shot to appear on the November ballot, but her petitions for the Libertarian Party were challenged in court. She lost the court fight and won’t appear on the ballot.

She is still determined to have an impact in the race. Today on her Facebook page she said she is backing Destino, and urged people to back Destino who she said is “anti-establishment.”

Destino will fight for Constitutional rights and personal freedom, Arnold said.

“Not only has he vowed to stop corruption and increase transparency, but he has also been fighting against the two-party elitists longer than I,” she said. “You can trust that Johnny will not cater to the pressures of party power, and will only work for the best interests of the people.”

Destino on Thursday also picked up the endorsements of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and Congressman Brian Higgins.

Ortt on Wednesday announced he had the endorsement of National Federation of Independent Business. Ortt is the endorsed Republican, Conservative and Independence party candidate.