If you follow Village of Garden City politics, you know that elections in the municipality are forgone conclusions. Who wins is never a surprise.

That's often so in many local elections, but Garden City is a rare case. Elections are basically decided at the beginning of the year, when the four property owners’ associations -- East, Central, West and Estates -- each caucus to agree on who will be put up for election under the Community Agreement banner.

In yesterday's election, everyone chosen by the associations won, but this year, there was last-minute drama thrown into the mix: two candidates launched "massive" write-in campaigns only two days before the election.

Incumbents Donald Brudie, John Watras and Nick Episcopia each won handily, as did the new Community Agreement candidate, Brian Daughney, but challengers Ron Tadross and Ray Rudolph put up a good fight.

Village Clerk Brian Ridgway says total votes hit more than 3,000 -- the most he can remember for one election in this town of 21,000 or so -- and he attributes that to Tadross and Rudolph's efforts. A total of 957 residents, who can each choose up to four candidates, voted.

"Periodically we've had write-ins over the years, but nothing like this," Ridgway said.

By the way, village mayors are selected on a rotating basis. Robert Rothchild, from Estates, is serving in his second year of a two-year term. Next year, Estates gets the mantle, then two years later it'll be Central, then West, then East and then Estates all over again.

"It's been this way since our founding in 1919," Ridgway said.

In other village election news, South Floral Park and Williston Park have new mayors, as challengers defeated incumbents in yesterday's village elections. And in Kensington, where voters saw two names on the mayoral ballot for the first time since 1996, the incumbent was re-elected.


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