Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey announced Thursday he will not seek a third term in November.
Rainey, only the second African-American to sit in the city’s highest elected seat, served as a councilman for two years before ousting Frank Catalina in 2017. He was reelected to a second term in 2019, fending off the challenge of Vincent Vesce, Jr.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to help build a 21st century city that offers hope and opportunity to everyone who calls Peekskill home, one of the greatest cities on earth,” Rainey stated on Facebook. “At the end of this term, I will be proud to leave a Peekskill that is not only financially secure, but one that is greener, more economically diverse and inclusive, and one that is working to ensure that everyone who wants to live here can do so.”
“There is still a lot of work to do this year to keep the momentum going and I intend a positive transition to ensure whoever the next mayor is, he or she has everything they need to continue the progress,” he continued. “After all that we’ve faced this year – the pandemic and the racial injustices – I’ve decided I need more time to focus on rebuilding my business, on my family, and most importantly, on raising my children.”
During his tenure, Rainey stated that he helped the city secure a $10 million economic development investment from the State of New York, $6 million in other grants to assist with projects including the revitalization of Fleischman’s Pier and the installation of electric charging stations, as well as attracting a vast array of mix used development to the city –including 82 new units of mixed-income, affordable housing currently being built on Main Street.
He also secured a deal to have the Boys & Girls Club operate the Kiley Youth Center under a 50-year lease with the Peekskill Housing Authority –along with $2.7 million in funding to support the effort.
In addition, Rainey stressed he pushed the importance of collaboration and worked with members of the all-Democratic Common Council to unify the city and ensure public policy had positive impacts on all communities.
Drew Claxton, former Deputy Mayor and Chairperson of the Peekskill Democratic City Committee, said, “We couldn’t be more proud of the all work that Mayor Rainey and this administration has done and how far the city has come since his taking office. He has had such a positive and tremendous impact on this city and shown what is possible when we elect progressive, forward-looking leaders.”
The Democratic City Nominating Committee will make its recommendation for Mayor and Common Council to the full Committee for endorsements at its regularly scheduled January business meeting.