Dear Hastings Democrats,
The November election brought mixed results for our party nationally. Like many of you, I'm still smarting over losses in Virginia, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and elsewhere. Whatever your interpretation of the root causes, we all know much work is to be done as we look to the midterms next year.
While we reassess the national picture, we should also acknowledge the very bright spot that was Westchester County on election night. County Executive George Latimer and County Clerk Tim Idoni were re-elected with 62% of the vote. With all 17 legislative seats up for election, Democrats held on to their supermajority on the Board of Legislators, and there were many inspiring local wins across the county. As we work to understand went wrong for Democrats more broadly, any assessment should include what went right in Westchester.
How did our diverse county of 1,004,457 urban, suburban and rural voters defy the trend? How exactly did Westchester Democrats—led by a proven and highly popular County Executive in George Latimer—reframe the issues and succeed when the GOP narrative overwhelmed Democrats elsewhere?
To start, Latimer kept the focus on his record of cutting taxes while investing in County assets, advancing progressive priorities, and leading us through the pandemic with a steady hand. His motto, “Results, Not Rhetoric,” pushed back against his opponent's efforts to run on culture war issues such as immigration and school curriculum. And he took his message to every city, town, and village, actively helping a full roster of qualified and capable Democratic candidates all the way the down ballot. They were supported by a small army of volunteers who made phone calls and knocked on doors in every race. Voters took it all to heart, and delivered for their Democratic candidates.
Here in Hastings, it's time to channel that enthusiasm as we look toward our next election: the Village Election on March 15, 2022.
Two Trustee positions will be up for election. They are currently held by Trustees Morgen Fleisig and Georgia Lopez, who have indicated their intention to run for re-election. We invite everyone else seeking to run on the Democratic party line to begin the process by submitting 1) a current résumé and 2) a letter of intent stating qualifications, goals, and reasons for running. These materials should be sent to our email address, HastingsDems10706@gmail.com, by December 6.
More information can be found on the Running for Village Office page on our website. If you have questions, please write to us at any time.
Thank you for your engagement in our elections at every level of government!
Chair, Hastings-on-Hudson Democratic Committee
Westchester County Round-Up
TOP OF THE TICKET: Westchester voters delivered a resounding 62% win for County Executive George Latimer and County Clerk Tim Idoni. George's margin of victory exceeded his win against Rob Astorino in the 2017 "Blue Wave" election.
BOARD OF LEGISLATORS: Led by our County Legislator, Majority Leader MaryJane Shimsky, Democrats won 15 of 17 seats to maintain their supermajority on the Westchester County Board of Legislators. Incumbents Damon Maher (Eastchester, New Rochelle), Vedat Gashi (New Castle, Somers) and Colin Smith (Peekskill, Yorktown) all fended off challengers. First-time candidate Erika Pierce (Bedford, Mount Kisco) prevailed to keep her district blue. The Democratic caucus will drop by just one member next year, with the loss of Ruth Walter (Yonkers, Bronxville).
LOCAL NOTES: Democrats will control the large majority of Westchester's 19 towns and 20 villages. Greenburgh—the largest town, with a population of 95,000—was an uncontested sweep. Democrats also held control in Cortlandt, Lewisboro, and Bedford after vigorous Republican challenges, fought off a write-in campaign in Irvington, and handily won Tarrytown. In Rye Town, Democrats swept three Town Judge positions. In the Town of Pelham, voters delivered a first-ever Democratic majority. DIVERSITY WINS: Hispanic candidates made solid gains, as representatives were elected in Bedford, Mount Kisco, Rye Town, and Peekskill, among others. African Americans won key races, including 5 of the 17 County legislator seats. Women were elected and re-elected across the board. SOME LOSSES: Republicans retained/expanded control in a half-dozen towns where their enrollment is dominant: Eastchester, Harrison, Mount Pleasant, Yorktown, Somers, and North Salem. An independent ticket of registered Democrats backed by the GOP won in New Castle.
STATE SUPREME COURT: Five NY State Supreme Court judges were elected in the 9th Judicial District, which includes Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, and Rockland Counties, as well as Westchester. Westchester produced large margins of victory to assist their success in these races. This slate includes an Hispanic judge, an LGBTQ judge, and a woman judge.
BALLOT REFERENDUMS: State ballot propositions 1 (redistricting), 3 (same-day registration) and 4 (no-excuse absentee voting) passed in Westchester, however they failed statewide. State propositions 2 (clean air and water) and 5 (NYC civil court) were successful, as was the Westchester County proposition to strengthen its ethics board.