The 2023 election has finally come and gone, but not fast enough for some people, including this writer. We had a few history-making victories, like Yadira Ramos-Herbert becoming New Rochelle’s first Black Mayor, and Namasha H. Schelling becoming Pound Ridge’s first Black council member.
Shawyn Patterson-Howard Mount Vernon’s first Black female Mayor who ran unopposed in the general election, will become the first mayor to win re-election in over 20 years, while Peekskill’s first Black female mayor, Vivian Cyndi McKenzie, and Tuckahoe’s first Black mayor, Omayra Andino each won re-election and will serve a second term.
New Rochelle has a few new councilmen. Shane Osinloye, who unseated incumbent Ivar Hyden in the primary, cruised to victory in New Rochelle City Council District 4, and David Peters will succeed Yadira Ramos-Herbert in City Council District 3. At the same time, Martha Lopez defends her seat in City Council District 1. Mount Vernon elected Jaevon Boxhill as the newest member of the City Council.
Let’s start with New Rochelle. In the biggest election in the South Shore, Yadira Ramos-Herbert, who ran on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines, got 56% of the vote with 7,356 votes overall, according to the Westchester County Board of Election’s unofficial tally posted on its website.
Yadira became the first woman and first person of color to be elected mayor of the great city of New Rochelle. She is also the first new mayor in 17 years, succeeding Noam Bramson, the Democrat who has led the city of 80,000 since 2006.
“I am incredibly humbled to have this magnificent opportunity to serve the city I love. I know I stand on the shoulders of the incredible black leaders of New Rochelle who fought to make this representation possible, and I hope to serve in a way that honors their sacrifice and commitment,” Yadira shared with Black Westchester Wednesday morning.
Councilman-Elect Shane Osinloye defeated Republican candidate Patricia Zaffo with 76% of the vote—1,082 votes overall in District 4, and David Peters defeated Working Families Party candidate Kwamain L. Dixon with 62% of the vote—898 votes overall in District 3. Matha L. Lopez who ran on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines defeated Republican challenger Phillip A. Sidoti with 69% of the vote—798 votes overall in District 1. Republican Albert A. Tarantino ran unopposed in District 2, Democrat Sara R. Kaye won with 64% of the vote in District 5 and Democrat Matthew A. Stern won with 52% of the vote in District 6.
“It’s hard to express, or even comprehend, how grateful and thankful I am for my supporters’ hard work. We earned the largest margin of the night! We’ve kept our campaign purely about the issues, so this massive win in the commercial district of New Rochelle is a mandate to improve our housing policies and enhance our local economy with environmental action and commitment health initiatives. My win is an opportunity to bring my constituents’ demands and critiques to our decision-making table, and make New Rochelle a better place to live for past and future residents!” Shane shared with Black Westchester on Wednesday morning.
In the city of Mount Vernon, Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, Council candidates Derrick Thompson and Jaevon Boxwell, City Court Judge Tamika A. Coverdale, and County Legislator Tyrae Woodson-Samuels all ran unopposed in the general election.
In Yonkers, Mike Spano defeated Republican Councilman Anthony J. Merante with 61% of the vote—15,956 votes overall. He will go on to serve his fourth term in January. “We did it, Yonkers! Thank you to my family, supporters, volunteers, and most of all the voters! I feel honored and privileged that you have once again entrusted me to lead the City I love. Let’s continue this renaissance together,” Mayor Spano wrote on Facebook.
City Court Judges Karen T. Beltran (37% of the vote—14,911 votes overall) and Arthur J. Doran III (37% of the vote—4,655 votes overall) won the two seats available. In the Yonkers City Council race, Deana Robinson defeated Shatika Parker (who ran on the Working Families Party line) with 83% of the vote—2,402 votes overall to succeed Shanae Williams in the District 1 City Council seat. Tasha Diaz held off challenger Hector Santiago and won with 81% of the vote—1,491 in District 3, and Republican Mike Breen ran unopposed for his seat in District 5.
In the Village of Tuckahoe, Mayor Omayra Andino won re-election, defeating Republican challenger Joseph ‘Scooter’ Scott with 55% of the vote—1,029 votes overall. Democrat Joshua Gallione (29% of the vote – 982 votes overall) and Republican Danny Lang (26% of the vote—893 votes overall) won the two Village Board seats.
“When we exercise our right to vote, we uplift Democracy. The people of Tuckahoe have spoken loudly and I’m honored to continue to serve them as Mayor alongside my passionate competent colleague, Josh. Unfortunately, due to a technicality, our friend and running mate Darryl Taylor did not cross the finish line with us. It’s a heartbreak as we move forward to do the will of the people,” Mayor Omayra Andino shared with Black Westchester Wednesday morning.
Another race we were watching was the Town of Greenburgh. Town Supervisor Paul Feiner ran unopposed and will serve another term. Councilwoman Gina R. Jackson won re-election with 48% of the vote—13,282 votes overall, and Beatrice Joy Haber will succeed Councilman Ken Jones who did not run for re-election, with 44% of the vote—12,203 votes overall.
“I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to serve my community for another four years,” Councilwoman Jackson shared with Black Westchester Wednesday morning. “The progress we have made together during my first term has laid a strong foundation for the future. I am committed to continuing the work we started, addressing the needs and concerns of our residents, and striving for even greater achievements. With your continued support and involvement, I am confident that we can make a positive impact and build a stronger, more vibrant community. Thank you, Greenburgh for entrusting me with this responsibility, and let’s continue making a difference together.”
Delores Scott Brathwaite ran unopposed for Village Justice. The most watched and publicized race in the town was Town Clerk. Lisa Maria Nero defeated current Clerk Judith A. Beville with 80% of the vote—11,964 votes overall.
“I’m so grateful to my ENTIRE team! Isn’t this an “off-off voting year? Look at God! Won’t HE do it? I am a first-time candidate who endured a nasty smear campaign the day before the election because “THEY” had NOTHING! Always let God guide you, order your steps, and let your work speak for itself! “When Democrats Vote, Democrats WIN!” (Majority Leader Sen. ASC) I love you all! Thank YOU!” Greenburgh Town Clerk-Elect Lisa Maria Nero shared.
In the Board of Legislators, the two elections we were watching were Districts 15 & 16. The most publicized was District 16. Yonkers City Councilwoman (District 1) Shanae V. Williams defeated Republican challenger Debbie Kozak with 57% of the vote—3,381 votes overall. Christopher A. Johnson, whose name appeared on the Working Families Party line, received 6% of the vote. Johnson, whose purchase of a home outside of his district sparked investigations by the Yonkers inspector general and the Board of Legislators, resigned his seat midway through the last year of his third term.
In District 15, Republican James M. Nolan foiled Ruth Walter’s plans to regain her seat. James won with 53% of the vote—6,819 votes overall to Walter’s 47%—5,932 votes overall. Another race we were watching was District 11 where Terry A. Clements survived a challenge from Republican John T. Hynes. Legislator Clements won with 60% of the vote—5,079 votes overall.
Legislators David Tubiolo (District 14), Tyrae Woodson-Samuels (D-13), David T. Imamura (D-12), Jewel Johnson (D-8), Nancy Barr (D-6), Benjamin Boykin II (D-5), Margaret A. Cunzio (D-3), and Erika Lang Pierce (D-1) all ran unopposed. Colin D. Smith (D-1), Vedat Gashi (D-4), Catherine Parker (D-7), and Jose Alvarado (D-17) all defeated their challengers and won re-election. Democrat Emiljana Ulaj defeated Republican Laurie Abbate-Ryan with 60% of the vote—6,034 votes overall. Ulaj will succeed Catherine Borgia, who is term-limited and will be out of office at the end of this year.
You can view all the unofficial election results for Westchester County on the Board of Election website.