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Former Peekskill Mayor Announces Candidacy For NYS Assembly

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Andre Rainey – who was elected the youngest Mayor in Peekskill in 2018 – announced on Tuesday, January 10th, that he would run for New York State Assembly in the 95th District to replace longtime Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, who announced the day before that she would be retiring after serving two decades in office.

Rainey – who made history as Peekskill’s youngest City Councilman and then again as the city’s youngest Mayor – is attempting to make history again. This time as the first African-American to ever hold the Assembly seat for the 95th district which includes parts of Peekskill, Cortlandt, and Ossining in Westchester, as well as Phillipstown and Kent in Putnam County.

“Sandy Galef is an institution and there isn’t a person who doesn’t know her, hasn’t been touched by her, or who has not benefitted from the work she has done on behalf of all of us. I am so appreciative of the partnership we have had over the years and the work she has done to make all of our communities better,” said Rainey. “As we move forward, we need to ensure this district has a representative in Albany with a proven track record of delivering for the people they represent: fighting for our youth and ensuring our public schools are appropriately funded for the long-term; ensuring residents can afford to continue living here by investing in affordable housing for working families and our seniors, keeping property taxes low for homeowners, and ensuring we have strong rent regulations that protect tenants. At the same time, New York State must move forward leading the country in advancing a climate agenda that secures the future of our state and our children.”

According to officials who launched Rainey’s campaign, while serving as mayor, Rainey has “worked successfully with local community, business, and youth advocacy leaders to secure $10 million in New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant money, secured substantial financial support from the public and private sectors to bring a new Boys & Girls Club to Northwest Westchester/Hudson Valley, and oversaw the largest investment in affordable housing in northern Westchester in decades.”

Rainey was elected to the Peekskill City Council in 2015, at which point he was the youngest ever to be elected to City Hall. Two years later, he defeated incumbent Republican Frank Catalina to become the youngest mayor elected in Peekskill, at the age of 33.

Following his second election victory in Peekskill in 2019, in which he defeated another Republican council member by a record margin, he announced his decision not to seek re-election in 2021. Instead, he endorsed then Deputy Mayor Vivian C. McKenzie. Mckenzie went on to make history for herself as the first African-American female Mayor of the City of Peekskill and only the second Black Woman to head a municipality in Westchester County, only after Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson Howard.

Rainey announced that he will be launching an official kick-off to his campaign in the coming weeks.

“Andre Rainey is the future of the Democratic Party,” Peekskill Democratic Chairwoman Drew Claxton said in a statement.

“He is a dynamic, accomplished, positive force in this region, who has actually gotten results. I cannot think of a more qualified and more positive addition to the New York State Assembly than Andre Rainey.” 

Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey on the People Before Politics Radio Show, October 2019 [Black Westchester]

Look for upcoming interview with Andre Rainey on an upcoming episode of Black Westchester’s People Before Politics Radio to talk about his candidacy and why he feels he is the best candidate to serve as the 95th District’s newest Assemblyman.

AJ Woodson

AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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