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Foster Concedes, Common Council Up In The Air In Peekskill

Frank Catalina, mayor-elect of Peekskill, is hoping to have a Republican majority in the Common Council next year.
Frank Catalina, mayor-elect of Peekskill, is hoping to have a Republican majority in the Common Council next year. Photo Credit: File Photo

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- One vote is keeping Peekskill as a Democratic majority.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Republican challenger Frank Catalina defeated Democratic incumbent Mary Foster 52 percent to 48 percent.

But Common Council remains up in the air. Third-place finisher, Democratic incumbent Marybeth McGowan, leads Republican challenger Vinny Vesce, who finished in fourth place, by one vote.

The race is so close that Republican Joe Torres, who finished in first place, leads Democratic incumbent Andy Torres, who finished in sixth place, by only 99 votes.

Democratic incumbent Drew Claxton finished in second place. Republican challenger Chris Hanzlik finished in fifth place.

The council is currently 7-0 Democrats. Democrats first became the majority in 2008 when they swept the Republicans in municipal elections.

With Catalina's victory, the Republicans need to pick up three seats to have the majority.

Absentee and affidavit ballots have yet to be counted, and recounts are also expected. Both sides are confident they will be in the majority when everything is finalized.

Catalina said absentee ballots tend to vote Republican. He praised his campaign for being able to overcome a registration deficit of 2 to 1 in the city.

"I know Democrats and they know me and what I stand for," Catalina said. "It’s not really about party lines on a local level. It's about who gets the garbage picked up and who gets the snow removed. It's time for action."

Foster believes a Democratic majority will remain, allowing the progress she made to continue in Peekskill.

"My congratulations go out to Frank, " Foster said. "4,200 people participated in Tuesday's election and I want to thank everyone who came to the polls; their participation is important.

"Peekskill has transformed in the past six years and is perfectly poised for the future. The new mayor will need to work with the Democratic council to continue the progress that is in the best interests of Peekskill."

Catalina said a Democratic majority would have no impact on his administration.

"We had a three point plan we think is in Peekskill's best interests," Catalina said. "It's not a Democratic or Republican plan. It's a Peekskill plan. We want what's best for Peekskill."

In a special election to fill the remainder of Don Bennet's term, Democrat Vivian McKenzie defeated Leslie Detres 53 percent to 47 percent.

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