Democratic incumbents Jean Farber and Karen Schleimer won re-election to the Mount Kisco Village Board Tuesday night, easily fending off a bid from independent challenger Gina DiLeo.
Farber and Schleimer had nearly identical vote totals – 1,818 and 1,804, respectively – compared to DiLeo’s 1,047, according to unofficial tallies from the Westchester County Board of Elections.
The winners declared victory shortly after 9:30 p.m. They cited their experience and the qualities they bring to the board as key factors in their victories at a time when critically important issues are facing the village, including decisions that will have to be made regarding the Comprehensive Plan update and the proposed solar legislation.
“Right now, we’re at a pivotal point with what’s going on with the Comprehensive Plan and the other legislation that’s going on and I think it’s really important to have people that have been involved with it for a while,” said Farber, who will begin her fifth two-year term on the board next month. “Experience really does matter at this point in time.”
Farber added that she’s excited that she will be returning to continue her efforts on a board that she believes has worked very well together since last year’s victories by Mayor Gina Picinich and Trustee Isi Albanese. Picinich and Albanese had defeated longtime incumbents while running on the independent 4MK line.
Schleimer, elected to a fourth term, said she the results were an appreciation of the work that she and Farber have done during their time in office. She said Farber was instrumental in creation of the Mount Kisco Arts Council, which has helped bring multiple arts opportunities to the community, while she has fought for certain initiatives regarding the Comprehensive Plan and the solar legislation.
“I think it was an endorsement of the things we stand for and the things we’ve tried to do and I’m grateful,” Schleimer said.
DiLeo was unable to follow up on last year’s victories by Picinich and Albanese on the 4MK line. She said this time she ran into headwinds created by a very strong Democratic turnout in a year where there was a gubernatorial race and a hotly contested state Senate election.
She also said placement on the ballot was another challenge she was unable to overcome; however, she wouldn’t have done anything differently.
“I just want to thank everybody who has stood behind me for the past few months,” DiLeo said. “We have worked really, really hard. It was a great experience. There’s a lot going on in this town and I hope everyone’s ready and prepared to work and continue to make Mount Kisco fantastic.”
Picinich said DiLeo was “an extraordinary candidate” who has contributed to the community for 25 years, and those efforts will continue.
“The challenge that we have and continue to have is that our community is not about politics,” Picinich said. “I truly believe this was a reflection of the politics that’s happening elsewhere. So I don’t think this should at all dampen anybody’s enthusiasm.”
Neal Rentz contributed to this article.