The Yorktown Town Board will be dominated by one party after voters elected two Republican candidates on Election Day for two seats that were occupied by Democrats.
Chamber of Commerce President Sergio Esposito and his GOP running mate Luciana Haughwout were both elected for the first time, defeating three-term Councilman Vishnu Patel and former Supervisor and Town Justice Ilan Gilbert.
Esposito, a Senior Analyst at Comprehensive Computers, Inc., which he co-founded in 1998, was the leading vote-getter with 5,502. Haughwout, a small business owner, finished second with 4,665.
“Thanks to all who believed and for all of your support. It was heartwarming and I want to SHOUT OUT the sincerest Thank You from my family to yours!” Esposito stated.
Patel, a retired IBM scientist who earned many awards during his 36-year career, including Inventor of the Year, came in third place with 4,307 votes.
“I am proud of what I was able to accomplish for the people of Yorktown during my three terms on the Town Board,” Patel said. “Long before I was elected to public office, my passion was to serve the community that I love, and after my service on the Town Board, I will continue working just as hard for Yorktown. I believe that my purpose in life is to help others, and that doesn’t change whether or not I hold elected office.”
Gilbert, who served two years as supervisor before being unseated by current Supervisor Matt Slater in 2019, was fourth with 4,156 votes.
“Regarding my defeat in this last election, I was reminded by a cherished friend of a Kennedy family quote so relevant in the past yet so relevant today…’For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die,’” Gilbert reflected.
Slater and Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli were returned to their respective positions running unopposed, while Aviah Cohen Pierson was elected as town justice, also running unopposed.
“Earlier today I spoke with both Councilman Vishnu Patel and Lanny Gilbert. Both have served our community, and while we may not always agree on the issues, I thanked them for their dedication and commitment to Yorktown. Anyone who runs for public office deserves our gratitude,” Slater stated.
A few days after the election, a video surfaced of racial slurs being directed at Patel from an unidentified person at the Yorktown Republican Party victory celebration.
Patel said he has had to endure hateful remarks since he was first elected in 2009.
“It is not surprising that one individual at a Republican gathering should shout out a vile obscene remark about my nationality. Donald Trump’s behavior as President gave permission for the worst elements in the Republican Party to say and do things openly that they would never have dared to in the past,” Patel said.
“What hurts me deeply about that video is that leaders of the Yorktown Republicans seem to be cheering those unspeakable words with nobody speaking against them. I nonetheless remain hopeful that a new generation of Yorktown Republicans will appeal to the best instincts of people and not the worst,” he added.
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/