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Rye Dems to run full council slate

Rye Democrats have selected a full slate of candidates hoping to win four open seats, and subsequently majority control of the City Council.

Josh Cohn will headline the Democratic ticket as its mayoral candidate, according to a source with knowledge of the selection process. Cohn, who has attended numerous City Council meetings this year, has been a consistent and vocal critic of the controversial Crown Castle application to install droves of wireless equipment citywide.

Joining Cohn on the Democratic ticket, the Review has learned, will be council candidates Julie Souza, Sara Goddard and Ben Stacks. The group will look to capitalize on a slew of open Republican seats being vacated this November.

Professionally, Souza works as the vice president of business development and strategy for ESPN, the sports network, and Stacks act as the senior vice president for Capital One’s commercial real estate division.

Though incumbent Mayor Joe Sack, a Republican, previously told the Review that he will seek re-election, council members Julie Killian, Terry McCartney and Kirstin Bucci, all Republicans, will not.

Currently, only two Democrats, Danielle Tagger-Epstein and Emily Hurd, occupy council seats, and their victories in 2015 marked the first time in 10 years that Democrats won a majority of seats open during an election cycle in 10 years.

According to Democratic Party Chairwoman Meg Cameron, who spoke to the Review in March, national interest in politics has acted as a boon for the local party, invigorating a bevy of candidates to make their first foray into politics.

This year, she said, it wasn’t a matter of finding candidates to run for elected office, but choosing which ones will best fill the role.

What role the Crown Castle issue, and the city’s handling of it, will play in the upcoming election remains to be seen. Crown Castle recently sued the city over the council’s denial of the application.

Souza and Stacks, a member of the Traffic & Pedestrian Safety Committee, have also been publicly critical of the City Council’s handling of the Crown Castle application. Goddard, the chairwoman of the city Sustainability Committee, is the one member of the ticket who has yet to take a public stance on the matter.

Cohn has played an active role in a citizens group that hired their own consultant to parse through Crown Castle’s application and propose an alternative this past year.

Council members, as well as mayors, serve four-year terms and are not compensated for their service.

Cohn and Cameron declined to comment.

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