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Peekskill Native Pataki Enters Presidential Race In Video Release

The George Pataki 2016 presidential campaign launch video.
The George Pataki 2016 presidential campaign launch video. Video Credit: George Pataki

GARRISON, N.Y. -- Former Peekskill Mayor and New York Gov. George Pataki made his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination official in a video released Thursday morning.

The four-minute video features remembrances of 9/11 and includes Pataki, a Garrison resident,  speaking about having served as the three-term governor of a state with a majority of voters from the Democratic party.

“We the people, not Washington, are equipped to lead this nation," Pataki says in the video. "We the people can make a difference. We the people are what make this nation great."

Pataki, who refers to his Peekskill upbringing in the video, gave a speech Thursday at Exeter Town Hall in Exeter, N.H.

The former governor's speech mentioned seeing many friends from Peekskill and paid tribute to previous Republican presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

"It is to preserve and protect that freedom for us that I stand here today," Pataki said. "It is to preserve and protect that freedom for future generations that I rise. It is to preserve and protect that freedom that I am announcing I am a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States."

Pataki talked about growing up on a small farm in a small town in the Hudson Valley called Peekskill. "Peekskill's wealth was not in its money but in its people; black and white, Christian and Jew, both rural and urban at the same time," Pataki said. "We weren't wealthy, we weren't well-connected, we weren't well-known. And yet every one of us growing up in that small town believed in the American dream, believed in hard work, and believed in ourselves." Pataki also mentioned spending summers working at Fleischmann's Factory in Buchanan with his cousin, Bobby.

As president, Pataki said he would ban members of Congress from serving as lobbyists, repeal the Affordable Care Act and end Common Core.

Westchester has another local candidate in the presidential race in Chappaqua's Hillary Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic nomination.

For more on Pataki's candidacy in a crowded field of Republican candidates, and a look at the history of candidates from the area running for president, click here.

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