The Northern Westchester Examiner

Local Independence Line Primaries Tied Up in Court

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The official winners of Independence line primaries in several local races won’t be decided until every vote is scrutinized in court.

With the Westchester County legislator race in District 1 between incumbent Republican John Testa and Democrat Duane Jackson for the Independence line apparently too close to call, both sides have filed paperwork with the Board of Elections to have the machines and write-in votes impounded and recounted.

Reginald Lafayette, Democratic commissioner for the Board of Elections, said the case is scheduled to be heard in court on Friday, September 27.

“This is just routine. No one is charging there are any irregularities,” Lafayette said. “They basically want to see that everything matches up.”

Jackson was the lone candidate that appeared on the ballot in the Independence line primary and received 108 votes. However, the Peekskill Republican Committee has claimed, based on its tabulations, that Testa picked up the majority of write-in votes to secure the line.

The Peekskill GOP has also declared mayoral candidate Frank Catalina and his three running mates as the winners of the Independence line in their efforts to grab it away from Democratic Mayor Mary Foster and her team. Foster received 35 votes in the primary. The Republicans have maintained 117 write-in votes were cast, and 98% were for Catalina and company.

Meanwhile, the court battle is also holding up the final determination in the Yorktown supervisor race where Democratic choice Nick Bianco received 119 votes on the Independence line and said he was congratulated by Republican Supervisor Michael Grace, who was relegated to a write-in campaign. Bianco, a registered Conservative, drew 129 votes in that party’s primary and is expected to have his hand raised when the Board of Elections puts its stamp on that line for the November 5 general election.

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