Yonkers — Candidates for Westchester County District Attorney Democrat Anthony Scarpino and Republican Bruce Bendish will square off in a live debate on News 12 Westchester in Yonkers at 6 Executive Plaza, Tuesday night. The debate will start at 7:00 P.M. and will be broadcasted exclusively on News 12.
In the second in back-to-back debate former prosecutor and longtime criminal defense lawyer Bruce Bendish and longtime judge Anthony Scarpino, who has held judgeships on the local, county and state levels, will faced off again. The two candidates went head-to-head in the League of Women Voters hosted debate at New Rochelle’s City Hall, Monday night.
Bendish, 70, is a criminal defense attorney and name partner at Goodrich & Bendish, and Scarpino 65, is a former surrogate in Westchester who is now a partner at DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, are vying to succeed Janet DiFiore, who Gov. Andrew Cuomo, selected to lead the state’s Court of Appeals.
Bendish spent 14 years in Westchester District Attorney’s Office, rising to chief of the homicide bureau; now a criminal defense lawyer as partner in the firm Goodrich & Bendish.
Scarpino is a former FBI agent; Mount Vernon City Court Judge; Westchester County Judge; State Supreme Court Justice; Westchester Surrogate Judge; currently in private practice at the White Plains firm of DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr.
DiFiore was elected as a Republican in 2005 but switched her party affiliation to Democrat in 2007. She stepped down in January to become the state’s chief judge. James McCarty, a 30-year veteran of the office, has been serving as acting DA.
Scarpino entered the race with an advantage, as active Democratic voters in the county outnumber Republicans by a more than 2-to-1 ratio. According to the Westchester Board of Elections, there are more than 286,000 Democratic voters compared with about 134,000 Republicans.
Scarpino is also running on the Conservative and Women’s Equality party lines. Bendish will appear on both the Republican and Reform party lines.
The two candidates have had little contact aside from crossing paths at various community events; groups had tried to bring them together for debates in recent months, but the efforts were blocked by scheduling conflicts.
In the months leading up to the September primary, Bendish had faced a potential challenger in former Nassau County prosecutor Mitchell Benson, but Benson withdrew in August after failing to get enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot.
Since the primaries, the race has been free of controversy, and media attention has dwindled.
Westchester voters are set to choose a new district attorney in the general election Nov. 8, and what has been a quiet race may be reshaped by two consecutive televised debates.