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Ryan stays relevant in Westchester County exec race
Members of Peekskill’s Democratic Committee threw their support behind Westchester County executive candidate Bill Ryan on March 28, a win that wasn’t a surprise but that illustrates how Ryan is still in the three-way race.
Ryan, a county legislator from White Plains, is running against New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and Board of Legislators chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) for the chance to unseat Republican County Executive Rob Astorino in November.
A former Peekskill resident, Ryan predicted he would win the support of the city’s Democrats. Although the committee’s move doesn’t necessarily translate into votes at the party’s convention on April 24 — convention electors cast their weighted votes as they choose — it shows the tenor of local party honchos.
“I am thrilled with the results of the Peekskill vote and I’m grateful to the district leaders who have put their confidence in me to work hard as we move forward with this race,” Ryan said in a statement.
Ryan’s success comes as Bramson and Jenkins also have been making announcements to trumpet their tactical victories in the campaign.
Jenkins recently sent out an endorsement note from the former chairwoman of the Board of Legislators, Lois Bronz. A day before, Bramson sent out a note from former State Senate candidate Justin Wagner -- who lost to Sen. Greg Ball [R-Patterson] last year -- in support his candidacy.
Jenkins is also planning an April 9 fundraiser at the Ramada Yonkers as well as an April 16 fundraiser with Concerned Citizens for Westchester at the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle.
Campaign finance reports aren’t due until July. So we won’t know anytime soon how the candidates have been doing in the money race, a crucial factor given Astorino’s hefty campaign funds.
Ryan didn’t even file a financial statement in the last round of disclosures. But his support in Peekskill shows that he might be in a position at the party’s convention in April to swing his supporters, kingmaker-style, to either Bramson or Jenkins.
Under the convention’s rules, the two top vote getters compete in a runoff if no one receives a majority in the first round of voting.
Ryan says he’s devoted to winning the county executive race. That might be so. But ultimately, he might be more effective helping another Democrat beat the incumbent county executive.