The two most watched and possibly most heated elections in Westchester County will be the 2023 Mount Vernon and Yonkers Mayoral races. Each started with at least 3-4 candidates running in the Democratic primary. But, unlike Mount Vernon, which is primarily a Black run heavily Democratic municipality, the winner of the Yonkers Democratic Mayoral race will face a Republican challenger, Councilman Anthony Merante in the General Election in November.
While all eyes will be on be on the heated elections of Mount Vernon like the previous years, the many moving parts in the Yonkers election make them a contender for the most watched and covered election. In addition to the mayoral race, there are some other interesting storylines that will play out this year including Councilwoman Shanae Williams challenging County Legislator Christopher Johnson. Greenburgh’s primary will also be one to watch we will do a deep dive into that race a little later, but for now, let’s take a look at the 2023 Yonkers Democratic Mayoral Primary.
Mayor Mike Spano now in his 11th year in office is running for his fourth term. After being elected twice, the city council voted to extend term limits twice which allowed him to run for a third term in 2019, which he won, easily defeating republican Mario De Giorgio, and now a fourth term. The Council voting for the extension of term limits has been contested by Yonkers voters who feel they should have been given the opportunity to vote on extending term limits, especially since the last time the residents overwhelmingly voted against extending term limits back in 2001.
Spano, the incumbent while favored will have to face at least two Democrats, Rev. Margaret Fountain Coleman – who announced her candidacy on January 15th – and Democratic Councilwoman Corazon Pinada Issac, who announced Thursday, February 16th with more than 150 constituents in her home district on South Broadway.
Both Pinada Issac – daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, working mother of three, and lifelong Democrat – and Rev. Fountain-Coleman who made history as the first African American to serve as a trustee in the Village of Tuckahoe in March 2018 and was also elected to the town council in South Boston, Virginia are both looking to make history as the first woman and first person of color ever elected Mayor of the third biggest city in New York State.
MAYOR MIKE SPANO – THE INCUMBENT
A lifelong Yonkers resident, husband, father of three, and former State Assembly Member, Mayor Mike Spano has dedicated his life to standing up for Yonkers families.
Elected in 1992 as the youngest member of the State Assembly, Mike proudly represented Yonkers for two decades, fighting for students, protecting taxpayers, and supporting economic growth. He led the Task Force on Sex Crimes Against Children and Women (SAVE New York), fought for the passage of Megan’s Law, and secured legislation to protect children across the state. He also wrote the language enabling Yonkers to receive a direct portion of revenue from video lottery terminals at Empire City Casino. It was an enormous victory for Yonkers and its public schools, providing $20 million in direct aid annually for education in the city.
His campaign website says, ‘Since taking office as Yonkers’ chief executive in 2012, Mayor Mike Spano has led the passage of balanced, bi-partisan budgets, without cuts to services, while providing historic investments to Yonkers Schools. Mayor Mike Spano is committed to securing a strong financial future for Yonkers and building upon its greatest strengths—its location, its history, its pride, and its people.’
Rev. Margaret Fountain Coleman
Rev. Margaret Fountain-Coleman made the announcement that she’d be running for office at the Yonkers Veterans Memorial, on Sunday, January 15th. If she is victorious in the upcoming election, she will be the first female elected Mayor of the city of Yonkers.
“We have African American people who cannot remain and people of color who cannot remain in their homes because of escalations of rental costs, affordable cost of living…We’re going to get that legislation passed. It is going to be signed off by me so that people can truly live here in Yonkers and have quality housing, decent and quality housing,” she said.
Rev. Coleman was the 1st major candidate to challenge incumbent Mayor Spano in the 2023 Democratic Primary. She is the wife of Frank Coleman Jr., a pastor at Messiah Baptist and the President of the Yonkers branch of the NAACP. Alongside 11 other Yonkers voters, he sued the Mayor and the City in December over the extension of term limits without a voter referendum.
Margaret Fountain-Coleman is an innovative and efficient leader who represents what Yonkers needs for its students and this community, said Bryan Boyd, Yonkers Teacher
Councilwoman Corazon Pinada Issac
“The people of Yonkers are ready for a change and as Mayor, I’ll bring a fresh vision and new leadership. I’m not from a political dynasty. I’m an Afro-Latina daughter of immigrants, a working mother of three children, and a City Council member who understands that I answer only to the people I represent. I am running to make real progress on affordable housing, prioritize public education, and take a proactive and holistic approach to public safety. But more importantly, when I am elected, I’ll restore the pride of what it means to be from Yonkers, something we’ve lost under the current Mayor,” Democratic Candidate for Mayor Corazón Pineda-Isaac shared.
Corazón Pineda-Isaac currently serves as the Yonkers City Council representative for the second council district of Yonkers, New York. First elected in 2013, Corazón Pineda-Isaac is currently serving her third four-year term representing the second district in the Yonkers City Council. As a lifelong Democrat, she fights every day to ensure that the City of Yonkers continues to improve its schools, fight crime, build affordable housing, and provide high-quality municipal services to all neighborhoods.
Upcoming candidate forums in Yonkers include the River Communities Coalition of Yonkers (RCCY) on Wednesday, June 7th @ 7pm in person, the Westchester Black Women Political Caucus (WBWPC) Yonkers Chapter will host a candidate forum on Monday, June 12th, it will be virtual. And District Leader Candidate Night Wards 1, 3, and 4 on Thursday, June 15th @ 7pm in person at the Chemo Center.
Check BlackWestchester.com for more information on these forums.