Two-term County Legislator Kitley Covill (D-Katonah) has decided against running for re-election later this year opening the way for her legislative aide and a local Democratic party chair to vie for the seat.
Covill said last week that there were other challenges she hopes to pursue after she completes her fourth year representing District 2 on the Board of Legislators.
During her remaining time on the board there is a full agenda of challenges including helping Westchester recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental initiatives and executing ethics reform at the county level.
With on open seat, Covill’s legislative aide and Bedford resident Erika Pierce and Mount Kisco Democratic Chairman William Serratore plan to soon make an official announcement signaling they will vie for the Democratic nomination.
Pierce, who will be stepping down from her position as Covill’s aide at the end of the month to concentrate on her candidacy, said when the lawmaker made her intentions known, she decided to jump into the fray.
“I’ve been working very hard for this district for the last few years, and know the district incredibly well,” said Pierce, who acknowledged that she was mildly surprised at Covill’s decision not to run again. “Given the time of crisis that we’re in, there is probably no better time to make sure that whoever is coming into that office can hit the ground running on Day One and knows all the issues and know all the players and procedures and really knows what needs to be done.”
She added that her professional experience would bring valuable skills to the Board of Legislators. In addition to holding her current post since Covill was sworn in at the start of 2018, Pierce worked for about a decade as a financial manager for a company, helping them navigate the upheavals following 9/11 and two recessions, as well as managing a nonprofit organization.
“So that experiences, in addition, I think makes me particularly well qualified to come into the district now as legislator because our downtowns and our arts nonprofits are hurting post-COVID,” Pierce said.
Serratore, who has lived in Mount Kisco for 27 years, said he’ll be pursuing the seat because he wants to increase his service to the community.
“I feel as if I’m active and energetic enough and committed to serving,” said Serratore, who owns an energy supply company. “I think I’ve been a good steward for the party and I would like to serve in a greater capacity, and being a 30-year resident of this district, I think I understand the concerns of the constituents and can provide effective leadership and legislation.”
Serratore made an unsuccessful bid in September to succeed Reginald LaFayette to become Westchester’s next Democratic Party chairman. That role went to Suzanne Berger of Greenburgh. He also has served as the county Democratic Committee’s executive director.
Both Pierce and Serratore agreed that they expect a Republican challenger for November, pointing out that an open seat typically attracts more potential candidates. Furthermore, until relatively recently, the district has traditionally leaned Republican.
While Mount Kisco and now Bedford are solidly Democrat, District 2 also takes in Lewisboro, Pound Ridge, North Salem and part of Somers and is the most geographically expansive district in the county.
A primary to determine the nominee would be scheduled for June 22.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Bedford is now solidly Republican. The article has been updated to say Bedford is solidly Democrat.