June 10, 2023
BW News

Dem Chair Endorses Richard Thomas For Mayor of Mt. Vernon

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“The current mayor and the former mayor and any elected official who are Democrats, who participated in the process should not be a spoiler to the will of the people,” Bishop Edwers 

Mount Vernon — Mt. Vernon Democratic City Committee Chairman Reginald Lafayette calls for democrats to get behind the victor in the crowded democratic primary for Mayor of Mt. Vernon, Richard Thomas on the steps of Mt. Vernon City Hall, Thursday afternoon.

Chairman Lafayette invited the following Mayor of Mt. Vernon Ernest Davis , NYS Assemblyman Gary Pretlow,  NYS Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Mt. Vernon Comptroller Maureen Walker, Former Mayor Clinton Young, Council President Marcus Griffith, Mt. Vernon City Councilman Yuhanna Edwards, Councilwoman Roberta Apuzzo, former Mt. Vernon Democratic City Committee Chairman David Ford, he democratic nominees for City Council Lisa Copeland and André Wallace to stand with him and Thomas at the press conference. But all were visible absent with the exception of André Wallace and Councilman Yuhanna Edwards, who was there to read a statement from former chairman David Ford.

BW was current working on a story about a proposed plot that included the current mayor, Ernie Davis and former mayor Clinton Young joining forces to back Senator Hassell-Thompson’s run against Richard Thomas for mayor on the Working Family Party line. But we delayed the story to cover the press conference Thursday afternoon. While many still believe this to be merely a rumor, the absence of Davis, Young and Thompson gave credibility to the rumor, especially since Davis was currently in City Hall during the press conference.

Even though Chairman Lafayette told the crowd not to read anything into those who were not in attendance, his comments came off almost like a warning to Democratic candidates, who might be thinking of supporting anyone else but Thomas.

“To the victor goes the spoils,” Lafayette said at the press conference. “As all good democrats, I expect, that you will support the Democratic nominee, during the November election as he campaigns. The registered Democrats of Mount Vernon have spoken, it is clear on who won the primary. The Democratic Party nominee is Richard Thomas.”

Much of what you would expect the Chairman to say publicly. But it was  what followed, that gave even more credibility to the rumor…

“At this time I pledge to you, despite the rumors that you may have heard about a third-party candidate, write-in candidate, it is my duty, it is my obligation, it is my word… that I will support the party nominee and that is Richard Thomas. Today don’t read anything into who all is not here… there are those not available today, that will be doing endorsement at another time. So as you go to your perspective corners waiting for another fight, it won’t be there. This is it, I tell you this as chair. Cause those who want to fight will have to fight with me.”

Thomas himself had called for the other candidates who have additional lines to run on to stand down, in his speech after being projected the winner on Primary Night.

Councilwoman Debra Reynolds (who is running on the conservative line) has firmly and publicly stated she will not stand down and will run all the way to election day. Senator Ruth, when asked by the media, has stated she will take a minute and talk with the residents before deciding what she will do.

Bishop Edwers, the president of The United Black Clergy, who received a call to garner his support in the movement to get Senator Hassell-Thompson to run against Thomas in the General Election, exclusively shared with BW his disapproval of such a move.

“The clergy of Mount Vernon stands with the integrity of the process of the Democratic Party,” Bishop Edwers tells BW. “All Democrats that participated in the election, we’re calling for them to stand with the nominees. Any movement to undermine our candidates will not be viewed favorable in the ecumenical community.”

“When Ernie (Davis) ran last time and he lost, I was supporting him,” Bishop Edwers shares with BW. “But when Clinton (Young) won the primary, I shifted my support and went with the nominee, that’s a fact. That’s why he (Davis) was angry with me. He lost and tried another line and I told him no, I’m not going there, I participated in the process of integrity.”

Edwers went on to say; “So are they telling the voters, these Democrats, are they telling the voters this process was not a process of integrity. This is the question I want you to ask. Bishop Edwers asks the question ‘these that are attempting to undo the result of the election, are they saying to the public, that is was not a process of integrity. Let them say that, put them on the defense.'”

After the press conference Lafayette told BW that Debra Reynolds has in fact indicated she is running on the Conservative Line, but says he has yet to hear from the Senator yet.

“Ruth Thompson has not reach out to me or said to me that she’s running an active campaign on the Working Family line. So I can’t saying she is running an active campaign,” Lafayette tells BW.

So while we have learned that Chairman Lafayette and the Democratic Party will get behind the nominee for Mayor, that the people have chosen, it’s still unclear what the rest of the candidates are going to do. Thomas has received congratulatory messages from Davis, Young and Hassell-Thompson’s camps, but either Thomas nor the public has heard a word from the Comptroller as of yet either.

While it’s usually safe to bet on the candidate who wins the primary, to prevail victorious in the General Election, it becoming more and more apparent, this could be a brutal war til the end. With the comments from Lafayette and Edwers, as well as the recent events unfolding in the 2015 Mount Vernon Mayoral Race, one has to wonder, despite his strong words at the press conference ‘Has Chairman Lafayette Lost Control Of The Party?’ Only time will tell. Stay Tunes to Black Westchester for further 2015 Mt. Vernon Mayoral Race developments!


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