Councilman Andre Rainey made history Tuesday by becoming the youngest mayor in the City of Peekskill with a stunning upset victory over two-term incumbent Frank Catalina.
Although official results were unavailable from the Westchester County Board of Elections, Catalina conceded the race to Rainey at the BeanRunner Café, where Democrats also celebrated a sweep of three Common Council seats, which will give the Democrats a 7-0 stranglehold in January.
“Peekskill decided tonight that they liked the success that the Democratic majority has been able to achieve, but wanted a more positive and unifying mayor who could make all residents proud and would build bridges, not walls,” said Rainey, 33. “To those who voted for me and those who voted for the incumbent mayor, I will do everything I can every day to make you proud. I will not be perfect, I will make mistakes, but I will work my heart out every day to move this city forward and include all voices at the table.”
Catalina, an attorney with offices on Brown Street, stated on Facebook while absentee votes have yet to be counted, he doesn’t expect to be able to overcome an 83-vote deficit.
“The voters have spoken…I respect the will of the people as reflected by these results. Any loss is painful and while a loss by 2% of the vote or by simply failing to reverse 42 voters (less than 2 per district) makes it even harder, we, as a community need to move on,” he stated.
“There is much work to continue to do. Along that theme, last night, I sought out Mayor-elect Andre K. Rainey and pledged a smooth orderly transition and any assistance needed to insure he has a successful Administration,” Catalina continued. “His success is Peekskill’s success – and that’s the bottom line on what we all want. There was a time to campaign and a time to argue and a time to debate and differ. Now is a time to come together and move on without rancor and hate. Now, let’s get to work and have a great day!”
Meanwhile, Vanessa Agudelo also made history by, at age 25, becoming the youngest person elected to the Common Council. Agudelo and running mates Colin Smith and Ramon Fernandez outlasted the Peekskill United slate of Councilman Joe Torres, who was seeking a second term, Robert Sullivan and Luis Segarra.
Current councilmembers Drew Claxton and Vincent Vesce did not seek reelection.