ALBANY – In his days as the hands-on mayor of a small village, Marc Molinaro used to sweep streets, dig ditches and yell at people who ran stop signs.
On Monday, the Republican gubernatorial candidate got to go hands-on once again, jumping in to help a fallen man on the streets of Poughkeepsie.
“A man needed help. I helped," Molinaro said Monday afternoon in an interview.
He stressed that his campaign did not seek to promote the event after it happened and that he was only answering a reporter's call for information.
A couple of hours after the approximately 1:30 p.m. incident, Molinaro got on the phone after a request by a reporter. Molinaro, the Dutchess County Executive, was in Poughkeepsie to deliver the county budget.
Molinaro spent 15 years with the Village of Tivoli fire department. “I’ve come to emergencies before," he said.
Monday, Molinaro was heading back to his campaign headquarters when he spotted a man lying on the sidewalk. “Marc just starts running toward the body,’’ said his campaign spokeswoman, Katherine Delgado.
The man appeared semi-conscious, Molinaro said, and appeared to be gagging. Molinaro called 911 and then a nurse came by the scene. “I guess he consumed something he couldn’t handle," he said of the man. Molinaro decided to stay until paramedics arrived.
As first responders arrived, the downtown streets became suddenly jammed. “So Marc goes out and starts directing traffic," Delgado said.
For his part, Molinaro took it all in stride, coming with just one week to go before Election Day in his race against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
“This was a bit surreal,’’ Molinaro said.
He added, “For his sake, we were in the right place.”