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Noam Bramson and Ken Jenkins united against Rob Astorino
Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) announced on Monday that he will co-chair the county executive campaign of New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, his former rival for the Democratic nomination for the post.
“During the past four months, Noam Bramson and I waged a hard-fought campaign for county executive,” Jenkins wrote in an e-mail to supporters on Monday morning. “The competition was intense, but through it all, we maintained our mutual friendship and respect -- and never lost sight of the fact that we are on the same team.”
Jenkins has been a regular adversary of Republican County Executive Rob Astorino in recent years, with a mixed record of success in blocking and battling the one-term incumbent. That record gives Jenkins a unique perspective on the campaign.
“Ken has been standing up to the Astorino administration’s right-wing, short-sighted policies on a daily basis for the past three years,” Bramson in a statement. “I am excited for the experience and insight he will bring to our campaign.”
Perhaps more importantly for Bramson, however, Jenkins received the lion’s share of support among Yonkers delegates at the county’s Democratic Convention earlier this month.
Yonkers has the biggest concentration of Democrats in Westchester County. Jenkins could be a key factor in a get-out-the-vote push in the city. To counter Astorino's substantial edge in fundraising, Bramson needs enthusiastic support in Yonkers.
What does Jenkins get out of the deal?
In April, Jenkins said he would run for reelection to the Board of Legislators. If he wins reelection and becomes chairman again -- and Bramson wins the county executive race -- the two would likely work closely together to reverse the policies Astorino has been pursuing since the Republican was elected in 2010.
In the event Jenkins wins his county legislator seat but is not selected as chairman -- again assuming Bramson wins -- Jenkins' contribution to the Bramson campaign could prepare the way for a job in a Bramson administration.
The precedent is obvious enough. Astorino appointed George Oros as his chief of staff after Oros helped run the Astorino campaign. Oros, too, is a former board chairman.