The Northern Westchester Examiner

Catalina Holds Huge Edge in Campaign Donors in Mayor Race

We are part of The Trust Project

Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina and his Democratic opponent Ken Martin will be squaring off on September 8 in an Independence Party primary. The victor will earn the right to appear on three separate lines on the November 2 general election ballot.

However, if the race for mayor were determined by campaign contributions, it would already be declared no contest as Catalina, based on early filings with the Westchester Board of Elections, has raised almost15 times as much money as Martin.

According to the 32-day pre-primary filings, Catalina, an attorney who is seeking a second two-year term, has a war chest of $30,742. Meanwhile, Martin, a 22-year city resident and a history teacher in East Harlem, reported a total of $2,625—$2,500 of which came from his own pocket.

“We’ve gotten a tremendous response across the board from small donors to large donors,” Catalina said while on vacation in California. “I’m very confident I’ll get reelected. When they get beat they’ll say I bought the election, forgetting all the policies we’ve implemented and positive changes we have made. I will be a tremendous second term.”

Catalina and his running mates, Tina Fischer, Brendon Fitzgerald and Herbert Reyes, have already locked up the Republican and Conservative lines in his reelection bid, while Martin and his team, councilwomen Kathy Talbot and Vivian McKenzie and Andre “Noodle” Rainey, have secured the Democratic and Working Families lines. The Independence Party endorsed Martin and the Democrats, a line Catalina said he never had the opportunity to interview for.

When Catalina ousted Mary Foster two years ago, he said he picked up about 160 votes on the Independence line en route to victory.

“It’s important to be on the Independence line,” Catalina said. “I don’t know how important it will be this year based on our record.”

When the Westchester Independence Party, which has backed both Republican and Democratic tickets in Peekskill over the last decade, backed the Democrats this spring, party Chairman Dr. Giulio Cavallo stated Martin, who could not be reached for comment, Talbot, McKenzie, and Rainey were one of the most diverse and representative political teams it has seen in Westchester. Citing the ticket’s balance of gender, race and age, the Independence Party believes it best represents all of Peekskill’s residents.


“This endorsement was easy for the Westchester Independence Party because of the strengths and successes of the incumbent councilwomen and also because of the fresh perspective and collaborative approach that Ken Martin and Andre Rainey will bring to Peekskill City Hall,” Cavallo said. “Additionally, we were highly impressed with the fact that these four individuals represented a cross section of Peekskill residents. We have full confidence that when elected, they will be able to ensure Peekskill’s progress and do so in a way that is collaborative and inclusive.”


In his first two filings this election season, Catalina reported contributions from more than 40 corporate entities. However, his two largest donors, $2,000 apiece, came from individuals: Joseph Maria and Lee Balter.


While Martin’s contributions were reportedly few and far between, the Peekskill Democratic Committee reported much activity, receiving nearly $18,000 this campaign season. The committee reported in its 32-day pre-primary filing to have a closing balance of $11,669.

We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.