The New York State Conservative Party, the state’s third largest political party, handed candidate Phil Oliva (R) a political victory this week, choosing him as its standard bearer in the 18th Congressional District race against liberal Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney.

Oliva, a close advisor of 2014 GOP gubernatorial candidate and incumbent Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, is running in a GOP primary against Monroe United-backed Orange County Legislator Dan Castricone. A North Rockland native and Nanuet business owner, Castricone has been endorsed by Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, whose district includes portions of Ramapo and much of NY-18.

It was a good week for Oliva. On February 29 he also earned the official Republican Party endorsement, after winning 73 percent of the vote in a four-county Republican nominating convention in Middletown. However, if the presidential electoral season has taught followers of politics anything, it’s that “official endorsements” aren’t necessarily worth the paper they are written on during GOP primary season.

“The Conservative Party is proud to endorse Phil Oliva for Congress. We also support Phil’s stated priorities of rebuilding a strong national defense, securing the border, growing the economy, and defending the U.S. Constitution,” Conservative Party Chairman Michael R. Long said.

Oliva is the president of Gipper Communications, LLC, a New York-based consulting firm. During Astorino’s 2014 race for governor, Oliva co-authored an economic plan that was called “A Plan for New York Revival” by the Wall Street Journal, adding that it would “lift the state’s flagging economy” if enacted.

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