Former governor, Republican from New York, stops by The Windmill Family Restaurant in Concord to greet the Saturday morning breakfast crowd.
As part of a quick campaign tour through the Granite State this weekend, first-in-the-nation New Hampshire presidential primary candidate former Gov. George Pataki, R-NY, stopped by The Windmill Family Restaurant to meet customers and employees and chat about his campaign.
Pataki went around to most of the tables, introduced himself, shook hands, and even sat down a couple of times. He was caught at least once taking up a customer on their offer to take a nibble of some of the home fries.
“Don’t get a picture of this,” he laughed as he moved to another table.
Pataki also was able to talk with Kosmas Smirnioudis, one of the proprietors of the establishment, about the restaurant and the history of his family, including his father, the beloved Louis Smirnioudis, who passed away about two years ago, Louis Smirnioudis came to this country from Greece and opened the establishment on Loudon Road in the 1990s, not unlike a lot of families that come to America for a better life, a story not lost on the candidate who also has deep, immigrant roots.
Smirnioudis said it was great to have the candidates stop by the Windmill to meet thestaff and speak with customers, a tradition of New Hampshire politics.
“It’s good,” he said. “It’s great that they come around … this is how they get their votes … these votes are the ones that count.”
Pataki, who was late for another event, was quickly asked what made him stand out as a candidate compared to the others. He stated that he was a Republican who was elected to a blue state numerous times and if he is the nominee, he’ll win New York for the GOP.
“I will win the election and I will change the direction of this government enormously,” he said. “Regardless of the makeup of Congress, I will work across party lines, bring people together, and move this country forward.”