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Dems secure Independence party endorsement

The Westchester County Independence Party has endorsed the Rye Democrats slate for City Council.

The Democratic ticket, led by Josh Cohn as its mayoral candidate and Julie Souza, Sara Goddard, and Ben Stacks, got the nod of approval in beating out their Republican counterparts.

Democratic Party Chairwoman Meg Cameron told the Review that, with the endorsement, her party is hoping to have broad support from voters of all political parties in the upcoming election against incumbent Mayor Joe Sack, current Councilman Terry McCartney, and newcomers Elizabeth Parks and Susan Watson. “We are very pleased to have received the Independence Party’s endorsement,” she said.

The backing of the Independence Party has been an indicator of success in recent Rye political races.

Rye’s Democratic ticket for this year’s upcoming City Council election took a major step in receiving the endorsement of the Independence Party. From left, Sara Goddard, Ben Stacks, Josh Cohn and Julie Souza. Photo courtesy Meg Cameron

The Democrats were previously endorsed by the party in the last election cycle in 2015. That year, Democratic candidates Emily Hurd, Danielle Tagger-Epstein and Jeffrey Taylor vied for three open seats on the council, ultimately capturing two of the positions. Tagger-Epstein and Hurd prevailed in that election.

“We are once again thankful for the endorsement and the continued support from the Independence Party,” said Tagger-Epstein, who added that she believes the endorsement will play a crucial role in the upcoming election as it did for her two years earlier. “Our [2017] ticket is strong with clear leadership qualities.”

The party also endorsed three of the Republican Party’s candidates during the 2013 election, championing Sack and Julie Killian and Kirstin Bucci, the latter of which was a newcomer at the time.

McCartney ran for election that year as well, but did not receive the party’s endorsement, which instead went to third party candidate Jason Mehler, who lost his bid for City Council.

According to the county Board of Elections, the city of Rye is home to 465 Independence Party voters, making it the third largest political party. The two major political parties in Rye account for 3,731 registered Democrats and 3,698 Republican voters. However, there are also 2,918 non-affiliated voters in the city.

Rye City Republican Party Chairman Tony Piscionere said he tends to think the Independence Party’s endorsement doesn’t matter, and he hopes he’s right in November. “I think it’s really unfortunate that they got the endorsement,” he said. “With all due respect to the [Democratic] candidates, our candidates beat them in qualifications. I think we have a much stronger ticket.”

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