Statement from Gary Melius, owner of Oheka Castle

I have been asked by your station to respond to an accusation that I am supporting Andrew Hardwick only to draw minority votes from Tom Suozzi. Here is my answer:

Let me start by saying that I am friends with Andrew Hardwick, Ed Mangano, and that I play cards weekly with Steve Schlessinger and Al D’Amato. I am very friendly with Congressmen Steve Israel and Peter King. I have always given financial support to both parties, in some years more to one than the other.

My reason for supporting Andrew Hardwick is that he asked me as his friend to help him run. He wanted to have his voice heard on his ideals and what he feels was a racial assault on him by Tom Suozzi and Jay Jacobs, when they came to Freeport during his recent Mayoral campaign, and openly supported a white Republican against the first Democratic African American Mayor of Freeport.

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