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Peekskill Votes To Be Counted On Wednesday

Mayor-elect Frank Catalina said votes in the Peekskill municipal election will be counted on Wednesday.
Mayor-elect Frank Catalina said votes in the Peekskill municipal election will be counted on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The waiting game in the Peekskill city elections is almost over.

Mayor-elect Frank Catalina said absentee and affidavit ballots will be counted on Wednesday, Nov. 20 after a judge in White Plains lifted an injunction allowing the votes in the too close to call Common Council race to be counted.

Democratic incumbent Marybeth McGowan and Republican Vincent Vesce are tied with 1,967 votes in third place for the Peekskill Common Council. Republican Chris Hanzlik is only six votes behind them in 4th place. Three seats were up for election this year.

The race is so tight that Republican Joe Torres, who came in first with 2,009 votes, leads sixth-place finisher Democrat incumbent Andrew Torres by less than 100 votes.

Drew Claxton came in second with 2,003 votes. But Democrats expect to hold onto their majority of the council.

Councilman Darren Rigger said Claxton will be named majority leader and Councilwoman Vivian McKenzie, who won a special election to fill an unexpired term, will be deputy majority leader.

Rigger said it was "very, very unlikely" Claxton would be defeated.

"We are not yet sure as to the size of the Democratic majority, but we wanted to make sure we had our leadership in place for the new year," Rigger said.

Rigger said he doesn't ever recall Peekskill ever having the mayor not be a member of the majority party.

Catalina, who defeated three-term incumbent Mary Foster said there are less than 200 votes to be counted. He said Democrats have not filed any recount challenges.

Vesce said it was a unique situation playing the waiting game.

"Sometimes you forget this is even happening," Vesce said. "You just keep waiting for this to come to fruition. We figured it would be close, we didn't think it'd be a tie.

Vesce said he was happy with the results and Catalina's election.

"It puts a new face on the city and gives the council a fresh start to work together in a bipartisan way," Vesce said. "It's going to be a good thing for the city."

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