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Abinanti Expected to Run for Old Assembly Seat Against Shimsky

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Thomas Abinanti is being drafted by a group of Greenburgh residents and officials to challenge Assemblywoman MaryJane Shimsky in a Democratic primary in the 92nd Assembly District because of her support for Edgemont to incorporate as a village.

Former assemblyman Thomas Abinanti is preparing to challenge incumbent MaryJane Shimsky (D-Dobbs Ferry) in hopes of recapturing his old 92nd Assembly District seat in a Democrat primary this June.

A grassroots effort in Greenburgh led by Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and several others to carry petitions for Abinanti was spurred by Shimsky’s support for state legislation that would make it easier for Edgemont to incorporate as a village. The move has been opposed by most town officials.

“Community leaders in Greenburgh are very angry that instead of continuing the efforts that I was making to protect Greenburgh from the disastrous impacts of Edgemont separating itself (from the town) and forming a village, Assemblywoman Shimsky sponsored legislation which makes it easier for Edgemont to leave,” Abinanti said.

Abinanti, who lost the Democratic primary to Shimsky by about 900 votes in 2022 after serving 12 years in the Assembly, said if those carrying his petitions secure the requisite number of signatures, he will officially announce his candidacy by the end of March. The 92nd Assembly District also includes the Town of Mount Pleasant and a small piece of northwest Yonkers.

Feiner said the stakes are high for Greenburgh in the fight to prevent Edgemont incorporating as a village because it would likely cause spiraling tax increases and loss of services. With the defection of one of the more affluent areas of town, Greenburgh would likely have trouble affording some of its services such as many of its recreational programs, he said.

There would be an estimated initial loss of about $8 million with budget deficits, reaching as much as $17 million to $18 million, resulting in dozens of municipal layoffs and the diminishment of services, Feiner said.

“So, for this Assembly race, this is really a one-issue campaign in my opinion,” Feiner said. “Do we have a representative in Albany that’s going to fight to keep the town whole or is somebody going to stab the town in the back? I’m very disappointed with the (state) legislation.”

The Town Board passed a resolution asking its state representatives to support a home-rule request that would repeal the new law, but that hasn’t been successful.

Feiner said he believes that some of the supporters behind incorporating Edgemont as a village don’t want to have to pay for services and project that benefit the lower income portions of Greenburgh.

Attempts to reach Shimsky late last week were unsuccessful. She had released a statement last week following the emergence of the news that Abinanti would likely oppose her in a primary.

“It’s been my honor and privilege to serve the people of the 92nd Assembly District. I look forward to continuing to work on their behalf with my colleagues in the New York State Assembly, and to providing the best possible services and quality of life,” the statement read.

Abininati said sections of the town, such as Hartsdale and Fairview, would be most hurt the most. If the town were to retain most of the programs, there could be as much as a 20 percent tax increase.

“The wealthier part is Edgemont,” he said. “That’s why this is such a big deal and why it would mean a very big problem for the Town of Greenburgh.”

Abinanti said he would also run because the state legislature provides inadequate funding for people with disabilities, who lack an advocate in Albany.

Before his 12 years in the Assembly, Abinanti served the same district as Shimsky on the Board of Legislators. Earlier in his career, he was a Greenburgh councilman. He currently lives in Pleasantville.

Shimksy was in her sixth two-year term on the Board of Legislators when she defeated Abinanti two years ago.



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