As Manor Democrats hold 628 margin in registered voters, campaigns craft strategies for changing village

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Registered Democrats overtook Republicans in the Village of Pelham Manor four years ago, with the Democratic Party holding a 628-voter advantage as of November, according to data from the New York State Board of Elections.

In November, 1,854 Democrats and 1,226 Republicans were registered in the village, according to the BOE data. In 2010, Republicans led by 80 registered voters.

However, the upcoming village election appears to be in the hands of independent and third party voters. The 1,114 people who are not registered Democrats or Republicans could easily decide which three candidates are elected on March 16. That number has remained relatively stable during a period of change for Pelham Manor, with independents and third party voters totalling 1,015 in 2010.

For all of it, Pelham Manor is politically Republican at the top. Candidates who ran on the GOP line hold all five seats on the board of trustees. The Democrats did not field candidates in the last two elections.

On the ballot March 16, Republican Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey and Republican trustees Angela Michele DeLillo and Joseph Senerchia are seeking reelection. They face Democratic mayoral candidate Ramsey McGrory and trustee candidates Lance Koonce and Andrea Ziegelman.

“When I speak to neighbors, I hear over and over again how important it is to think in terms of non-partisan leadership,” said Cindy Courtien, campaign manager for the Republican Party. “That’s one of the reasons we’re running on the Neighborhood Party line along with the Republican Party line.”

In order to appeal to independent voters, Courtien said the campaign has reached out to residents through fliers, newspaper ads, social media, interviews and conversations.

It is not the goal of the Republicans to keep Pelham Manor a Republican village, Courtien said. Instead, the party prioritizes reaching all groups of people and helping voters in Pelham Manor feel confident about their candidates.

“We’re not running on a platform to ‘keep Pelham Manor Republican,'” she said. “If that happens, it will be because our neighbors trust us to continue accelerating the modernization of the place they call home. Pelham Manor residents can have confidence that these professionals, who are volunteers in these roles, care as much about the community as they do.”

Pelham Manor is still considered a Republican village by many of its residents. Because of their longstanding hold on public office, the Republican candidates have had time to build strong connections with members of the community.

Election day in Pelham Manor is March 16 with polls at the firehouse open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

“Most importantly, Mayor Lapey, Deputy Mayor DeLillo and Trustee Senerchia are an effective leadership team, along with Police Commissioner Breta Bennett and Trustee Maurice Owen-Michaane,” Courtien said. “Together, they field dozens of calls and emails a week from neighbors with questions, comments and requests.”

With the longstanding precedent, the Democratic candidates have an opportunity to make history in the March 16 election. “Flipping Pelham Manor blue would be historic—the first time in 130 years—but it’s a byproduct rather than the goal,” said Katherine Pringle, a campaign manager for the Democratic Party.

“We want to make it easier to get involved, easier to vote, easier to know what’s going on and easier to get a response on local issues,” she said. “Local government should be the best government because it’s a close-knit community, and your neighbors are your leaders.”

It is a top priority of the Democrats to keep voters in Pelham Manor aware of the upcoming election and of the fact that the party has a chance of emerging victorious. The candidates are also running on the Pelham Manor Forward line.

“The Pelham Manor Forward campaign efforts have focused on engaging all residents to ensure they know there is a local election,” Pringle said. “Our forward-looking priorities are in response to voters who expect more transparency, engagement and action on fiscal, sustainability and community priorities.”

In addition to campaigning door-to-door and on open Zoom meetings, Pringle said the party has been holding “small-group conversation on specific topics and engaging on social media.”

We are also talking with leaders of nonprofits, businesses, schools and civic organizations to understand their priorities and issues,” she said. “We expect to govern this way as well.”

The candidates “are listening to what voters want, drawing people into conversations and getting people excited about the ways that our village can thrive. We can do this, and that should be attractive to all voters, including independents.”

Election day in Pelham Manor is March 16 with polls at the firehouse open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

For an absentee ballot application, use the links on this page or call village hall at 914-738-8820. “If you are concerned about Covid-19, you may vote by absentee ballot,” the village website said. “Just check the box in the application referencing illness.”

“The absentee ballot application must either be personally delivered to Pelham Manor Village Hall, 4 Penfield Place, Pelham Manor, New York, 10803 no later than 5 p.m. on March 15, 2021 or, if the applicant would like a ballot mailed to them, the application must be received not later than March 9, 2021. The absentee ballot itself must be received at Pelham Manor Village Hall, 4 Penfield Place, Pelham Manor, New York, 10803 no later than the close of polls on election day, March 16, 2021.”