PoliticsThe Northern Westchester Examiner

McKenzie Leads Democratic Slate of Peekskill Incumbents

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Two years ago, Vivian McKenzie made history being elected the first Black female mayor in the City of Peekskill. McKenzie, a councilmember since 2013, is looking to retain her seat in November on top of the Democratic ticket that features three other incumbents on the all-Democratic council.

Patricia Riley, Kathleen Talbot and Brian Fassett were all wholeheartedly endorsed by the Democratic City Committee.

“Mayor McKenzie and her team are doing exceptional work for the betterment of our entire community,” said Democratic City Committee Chairperson Marina Ciotti-Hodges. “We look forward to the campaign ahead during which Mayor McKenzie’s vision will be presented to the voters of Peekskill. In the meantime, district leaders are out gathering petition signatures through the end of this month. This is the first step of a very long campaign season. I fully expect the voters of Peekskill to re-elect Mayor McKenzie and Councilmembers, Riley, Talbot, and Fassett.”

McKenzie, who did not respond to an email seeking comment, is a lifelong Peekskill resident and owner of Kathleen’s Tea Room, which was demolished in 2021 after the roof caved in. It is now operating as a food truck. She was previously employed as an insurance territory sales manager.

Talbot, who has been on the council for 12 years, owned and operated a corporate communications business for many years and is a licensed clinical social worker.

Riley, who was chosen by the council to fill the seat left vacant when Andre Rainey ousted Mayor Frank Catalina in 2017 and then won an uncontested election to complete the rest of his term, is running for  a second full four-year term. She worked as an educator in the public schools for 32 years and was a union representative for the Lakeland Federation of Teachers for 29 of those years, making sure that educators were well-represented and treated fairly.

Fassett, who served as president of the Peekskill Business Improvement District for four years, was appointed to the council last year to fill the seat vacated by McKenzie when she was elected mayor. He ran unopposed last November to serve the final year of that term and is now vying for a full four-year stint.

No word yet if the Republican Committee plans on fielding a ticket this year.

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