November 16, 2012

After the election: hangover or a brand-new day?

A funny thing happened on Tuesday, Nov. 4. The Democrats won just about everything there was to win in northern Westchester, from the presidency to town justice.

In every race in Bedford and Pound Ridge — for president, U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, New York State Senate and Assembly, town justice — a Democrat prevailed. In Bedford, Kirsten Gillibrand gained the largest margin of victory, 66.45 percent of the vote to 33.58 percent for her challenger, Wendy Long. The closest race was George Latimer versus Bob Cohen, decided by 53 percent for Latimer and 47 percent for Cohen. The results were pretty much the same in Pound Ridge.

The race for president in Pound Ridge went to Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, with 1,317 Pound Ridgers selecting Mr. Obama to Mr. Romney’s 1,135 votes. Incumbent Rep. Nan Hayworth lost to Democratic challenger in the 18th Congressional District Sean Patrick Maloney by 130 votes in Pound Ridge. Even New York State Senate candidate Justin Wagner outpolled Greg Ball, although Mr. Ball appears to have picked up the victory by strong support from the rest of the 40th district, including Dutchess and Putnam counties.

Speaking of Mr. Ball, this year his high jinks were pretty lame, at least as far as high jinks go. Yes, Mr. Ball did register an anti-Wagner website and impersonated Mr. Wagner on email, but that’s small potatoes compared to his past campaigns. This year he may have finally realized that he doesn’t need to go below the belt — he’s got enough meritorious service that he can now stand by his record.

Cuomo in 2016? According to a Marist Poll earlier this year, nearly six in 10 New Yorkers — from both parties — approve of the job Andrew Cuomo is doing. This race, every candidate wanted to embrace the governor. Whoever thought that Mr. Ball would praise Gov. Cuomo? Or that Bob Castelli would proudly tout his relations with the governor? Can you see anyone doing that with David Patterson or (gasp!) Eliot Spitzer?

Unfortunately for Lewisboro’s Bob Castelli, he was unable to persuade voters in the newly-redistricted 93rd that he was their man. He faced a formidable opponent in White Plains Common Council member David Buchwald, a bright, focused and motivated candidate. And despite Mr. Castelli’s record, which he has every right to be proud of, our neighbor was unable to rock the vote. Mr. Castelli called The Record-Review the day after the election pledging to work for the people until the last day of his term, Dec. 31. That is class. He will be missed.

Nan, Nan, Nan — There’s no one we want to have on our side more than our urbane and brainy neighbor. Nan Hayworth went from a 13 percent poll lead in September to a 7 percent lead the third week in October — to defeat on Election Day. Where did she go wrong? She inherited Poughkeepsie in the congressional redistricting map for one, an urban core center. But that can’t be blamed for doing her in. The mood of voters suggested we have had way too much “American exceptionalism” at the expense of America’s 47 percent. Ms. Hayworth lost in her potential strongholds of northern Westchester, and even lost New York’s agrarian Orange County by 6,000 votes.

The 37th District race — Bedford got gerrymandered into this new district, which includes New Rochelle and parts of Yonkers and looks like Vietnam on a map. The race played out like the Vietnam war, with candidates napalming each other with leaflets, accusations and personal attacks. We were unprepared for the firestorm that was this election. We shouldn’t have been, as apparently this feud has been growing for some time down county. For Mr. Latimer, who was portrayed as “dining out at taxpayers expense” and fiddling while Westchester burned, Albany will be the easy part.

Open space. About the furthest thing you would imagine could pass in this tough economy is a voluntary tax, but residents in both Bedford and Pound Ridge realized that the open space levy isn’t any ordinary tax, but rather an investment in the community; preserving land enhances our home values, protects our environment, and maintains our rural quality of life. The referendum to reinstate Bedford’s open space tax passed by the greatest margin of all the town results, 3,449 to 1,531. The proposition on the Pound Ridge ballot to maintain the tax, albeit at a reduced rate, passed 1,681 to 551. The connection of voters to land protection points to an underlying optimism in a time of political cynicism.

And maybe that was the message of the 2012 election in America.

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York



Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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