LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli, who says he’s running for governor, recently spoke at an event that was marked by controversy.
Carpinelli’s presence Saturday at a seminar on constitutional liberty in Albany County made the news in that region. He attacked Governor Cuomo’s pandemic-related mandates on wearing masks, saying, “Our God wants us to smile at each other.”
He says wearing a mask should be a choice and he chose not to wear one at the event.
“Out in public, I probably use common sense things that if I was going to sneeze or cough, I would turn my head and cover my face with my hand as I was taught. And if I happened to be carrying a handkerchief, I would use that at the time. But, I don’t see a reason for myself to have to wear a mask in public 24/7 during this situation,” said Carpinelli.
The seminar, which was held at a Bible camp, also made headlines because an Albany County lawmaker made anti-gay remarks. Carpinelli says all Americans have a constitutional right to speak, but that doesn’t mean he agrees with what is said.
Meanwhile, one of Carpinelli’s friends, who partially hosted the event, faces federal charges for being at the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The sheriff says he can get along with people even if they have an opposing position.