Bedford Supervisor Chris Burdick announced Tuesday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for a 37th Senate District special election for the seat being vacated by County Executive-elect George Latimer.
Burdick said the district requires representation from a strong leader, something he believes he’s demonstrated the last 10 years on the Bedford Town Board, including the last four years as supervisor.
The district extends from a portion of Yonkers, proceeds along the Sound Shore, includes part of White Plains and continues into North Castle and Bedford.
“I feel that it’s especially important, now given what I consider the tragedy coming out of Washington with the Trump Administration and the threat to our state from a tax bill which seems absolutely designed to inflict the worst damage on a state that didn’t vote for him,” said Burdick, an attorney. “I think (it’s) especially important to have extremely strong leadership at the state level so that we can do everything we can to enact progressive measures and do what we can to fight against what is coming out of Washington.”
Burdick, 66, becomes the third Democratic to enter the race since Latimer’s victory last month. He joins Assemblywoman Shelly Mayer of Yonkers and White Plains resident and teacher Kat Brezler, who was a Bernie Sanders delegate at last year’s Democratic National Convention.
Burdick pointed to a record of accomplishment during his tenure as supervisor. He said he has focused on environmental issues, including low-cost renewable energy options to consumers, developed a sewer plan financed largely with outside funds, spearheaded an immigration protection resolution and has overseen strong finances.
First elected in 2007, Burdick said he broke onto the all-Republican Town Board, and has since won each ensuing election, including the last three for supervisor. Last month he ran unopposed.
“Westchester voters need to have confidence in their elected officials, which is why I am running for the Senate,” he said. “I have a record of results, integrity and bipartisanship while standing up for our progressive values.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is likely to call for a special election early next year to fill Latimer’s unexpired term. Burdick said the governor cannot schedule a special election for a seat until it is vacated. Latimer is expected to resign as state senator on Dec. 31.
There has been talk that a special election could occur in April, Burdick said.
Thus far, there have been no Republicans that have stepped forward to announce their candidacy in a special election.
If a special election is called, both political parties would have to schedule a convention to settle on a nominee.
Brezler, one of Burdick’s opponents for the nomination, said she is focused on the lack of affordable housing, quality healthcare choices and equality in education, issues that must be addressed by the district’s next senator.
“Through the unwavering support I have received from district leaders, elected officials, teachers, union members and activists, clearly shows our pathway to victory,” Brezler said. “It is with bold ideas and a no-nonsense approach that I received more than 28,000 votes last April to be a Bernie Sanders delegate. I know I can do it again.”
The winner of the special election would have to run again in the general election in November to continue serving the district.