Mount Vernon — The 2015 Mount Vernon Mayoral Race is the gift that keeps on giving. While it’s usually the practice that the winner of the Primary, more times than not, has an easy road to win the General Election in November, that may not be the case in 2015. The 2015 Mayoral Race, which has been one of the most heated and some feel the dirtiest race in Mount Vernon history, continues to be as newsworthy after the September 10th primary as it was before.
City Councilman and Democratic Mayoral Nominee Richard Thomas should have been able to ease on down the yellow brick road to November, but the other candidates whom he beat in the primary, seem to have another thing on their mind, then getting behind the Democratic Nominee. City Councilwoman Debra Reynolds has vowed to fight to the end as she continues to run on the Conservative Party line. NYS Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, while she has yet to make an official announcement appears to be continuing her quest for Mount Vernon’s top seat, running on the Working Family line.
Rumors have been flying around the 4.2 square miles of Mt. Vernon, like military drones, about the current mayor and former mayor throwing their support behind the Senator. BW reported 12-days-ago, that former Mayor Clinton I. Young has been making several calls to key Democrats to support Senator Thompson. The President of the United Black Clergy, Bishop Collie Nathan Edwers, Pastor of Friendship Worship Center, was the only one to go on record and publicly speak of the call he received from Young. BW reported that Chairman Reginald Lafayette’s own words denouncing the rumor, whether inadvertently or not, only gave more credibility to it.
“To the victor goes the spoils,” Chairman Lafayette said at the press conference to endorse Richard Thomas, Wednesday, September 18th. “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.”
If that wasn’t enough excitement, just when you thought it was safe, Tuesday afternoon BW received several calls about Mayor Ernest D. Davis running in the General Election as a write-in candidate. BW was told by City Hall insiders, who asked to remain nameless due to the retaliatory nature of the Davis Administration, that a kick-off rally or party was being planned for next week. They went on to say the reason for speaking up is they do not support Davis but fear if they don’t participate in his campaign, they will no longer be working for the city
When we contacted the incumbent mayor, he would not deny or confirm the report we received. Davis seemed both irritated and combative by the call from BW and the questions, when we contacted him (listen to the audio from the conversation below).
Since several elected official accused BW of not reporting all the facts or reaching out to key people for comments recently, including Chairman Lafayette who said in September 23rd Democratic Committee Meeting, “Black Westchester, writes stories without all the facts,” we reached out to the Chairman to get his take on the situation.
In our first of two phone conversations, he said he had no idea what we were talking about, and he would call Davis and get back to us. In his second call back, he tells BW that he was unable to reach Davis, who did not answer the phone when he called. But in checking with his sources he heard the same thing, that Davis was in fact attempting to run as a write-in candidate.
“It’s very rarely that anyone has done a write-in, almost zero, for a major party or a major election, did you know that?” Lafayette informs BW. “There are write-ins in every election, with people writing a name in, but I never knew of an organized write-in for a general election in Westchester.”
Bishop Edwers was notably disturbed by candidates who participated in the Democratic process and loss who do not want to do the right thing by supporting the party nominee, the way they would want everyone to do if they had won.
“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 tells BW 12 days earlier. “The clergy of Mount Vernon stands with the integrity of the process of the Democratic Party. 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.”
According to Bishop Edwers this is not the first time Davis lost the primary and did not support the Democratic Nominee.
“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.”
Now once again it appears Davis, who is coming off like a spoiled child who lost the game and then leaves and takes his ball with him so no one else can play, is doing just what he longed accused Thomas of, going against the party and not working for the betterment of Mount Vernon. BW asked the question could Chairman Lafayette be losing control of the party, but now we have to report this move is being done without his knowledge or consent and he strongly condemns it.
“I am totally opposed to any write-in effort and I made my endorsement publicly and I stand by my endorsement.” Lafayette tells BW emphatically. “I am totally opposed to all of these secret meetings that are allegedly taking place with me in them. I have not met with anybody. The only person I have met with since the primary was Richard Thomas. That’s the only person and one other person in his camp, Tonya Holt about having a rally at Democratic Headquarters. I thought this whole thing was all put to bed.”
While BW did ask the question, Is Reggie Lafayette Losing Control of the Party? It appears that a few people have just gone rogue and intend to be spoilers and circumvent the will of the people. Davis seems to be at the top of the list as he attempts to do what has never been done, reminiscent of Muhammad Ali. But like Ali who is arguably one of the best who ever did it, Davis doesn’t know when to quit.