Frank Scaturro, one of several Republicans attempting to unseat Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy for the 4th congressional district seat in November, spoke of his desire to see St. Paul's saved from the wrecking ball as he stood in front of the historic building Sunday.
"It is irreplaceable," Scaturro said. "It is something I know a lot of residents want to see preserved."
Scaturro, 37, a lifelong resident of New Hyde Park, is currently a professor at Hofstra University School of Law and will face the other Republican candidates in a September primary.
Scaturro said he has met with the Garden City Historical Society and hopes St. Paul's can be saved in a "fiscally responsible" manner.
"Hopefully we can come to some sort of arrangement where the building can be used by the community," he said.
Residents may see Scutarro's strong interest in a hot-button issue that's been a bone of contention in Garden City for nearly two decades as a departure from Carolyn McCarthy's time in office.
Throughout the year leading up to this election, residents have publicly criticized McCarthy at village and school board meetings as being out of touch with Garden City issues.
When trying to assure residents of his dedication to Garden City and St. Paul's, Scaturro has often cited his experience as a college student fighting a bureaucracy to restore Grant's Tomb.
"I know what it's like when people see a building that's in disrepair. Some people even see it as an eyesore, and it can be very frustrating, and the odds can sometimes seem insurmountable, even for something as basic as maintaining a site ... I don't want people to lose hope when it comes to a site like this."