DID PELHAM JUST TURN BLUE? Democrats Curtin, Burke win council seats, Kagan town judgeship

Upending at least two decades of Republican dominance in Town of Pelham politics, Democrats Kristen Burke and Maura Curtin won seats on the town council Tuesday, while Village of Pelham Trustee Adam Kagan defeated incumbent John DeChiaro for one of the two town judgeships, according to unofficial results posted on the Westchester County Board of Election website. Kagan will be the first Democratic judge in twenty years or more.

It’s not clear whether the published totals include early voting and absentee ballots. However, a separate page on the board of election site shows the Democratic candidates won in the early voting.

The results mark a historic shift in Pelham politics, as the Republican Party previously dominated town elections, bolstered by the GOP’s strength in the Village of Pelham Manor, which essentially represents the southern half of the town.

Republican Councilman Dan McLaughlin was elected town supervisor after the Democrats failed to field a candidate, while Antionette Clemente of the GOP secured the post of town clerk without facing an opponent.

Here are the vote totals for the candidates:

Democratic PartyRepublican Party
Supervisor: No candidate
Supervisor: Dan McLaughlin
2,019 votes
Justice: Adam Kagan
1,679 votes
Justice: John DeChiaro
1,505 votes
Council: Kristen Burke
1,770 votes
Council: Blake Bell
1,423 votes
Council: Maura Curtin
1,654 votes
Council: Michelle Marcellino
1,340 votes
Clerk: No candidateClerk: Antoinette Clemente
1,983 votes

State and county judges were also up for election Tuesday, as were all the members of the Westchester County Legislature.

In Pelham, Democrats and Republicans engaged in aggressive campaigning on a variety of issues, including government transparency, town services and politicization of the town court.

Per the unofficial results, with all districts reporting, DeChiaro trailed Kagan by around 175 votes, or 6%. Kagan argued in his initial campaign statement that what he described as “one-party rule” over the town government shut out other voices. DeChiaro was seeking his third term on the bench.

In the race for two spots on the Pelham Town Council, Curtin and Burke emerged victorious over Republican Blake Bell, a 13-year incumbent, and newcomer Michelle Marcellino. Curtin and Burke will join Republicans Timothy Case, Rae Szymanski and newly elected supervisor McLaughlin on the town board.

The board of elections reported Burke and Curtin pulled in 29% and 27% of the vote, respectively, compared to 23% for Bell and 22% for Marcellino. In Burke’s initial campaign statement, she argued for increased transparency and innovation and highlighted her legal experience. Curtin, in her statement, called for the expansion of town programs.

McLaughlin, a long-time Pelham resident, pledged to ensure town programs continue to function at a high level, but “within a budget that is sensitive to the needs of all taxpayers.” McLaughlin raised controversy on Election Day with his final campaign statement, which aimed to refute arguments provided by the Democratic candidates as to why voters should support them.

Incumbent Westchester County Legislator Terry Clements, a Democrat, ran unopposed in the 11th District, which represents Pelham.

At the county judicial level, there were several races, both contested and uncontested. For two family court judge positions, M. Scott Naber and Wayne Humphrey won unopposed.

For county court judge, Democrats Melissa Loehr and Robert Prisco defeated Republican Chris McClure and Michael Tawil on the Working Family line, according to the unofficial tally.

For the New York State Supreme Court Ninth Judicial District, which contains parts of Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange and Putnam counties, four positions were open with five candidates running. Voters picked Democrats Nancy Quinn Koba, Steven Milligram, Lewis Lubell and Gina Capone. Republican Robert Freehill placed fifth.

In Westchester alone, Milligram, Lubell and Capone tallied between 135,000 and 142,000 votes, with Koba at 98,000 and Freehill at 53,000. According to the New York State Board of Elections, Milligram, Lubell, and Capone received between 310,000 and 320,000 of the total votes counted, coming in ahead of “ballots left blank” with 252,000, Koba at 203,000 and Freehill with 145,000. Thirty-seven voting districts have yet to report. Koba and Lubell also ran on the SAM line, while Lubell, Capone and Milligram were also nominated by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.