A new mayor and several new village trustees were elected in the Manhasset villages on Tuesday.
The village elections were originally scheduled for March 18, but following two reschedulings due to the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order for all village elections to take place Sept. 15.
Mayor Brian Herrington, who took office after the death of Mayor Robert McNamara in April, handily defeated Trustee Kate Hirsch to retain his seat for a full term of office following a nine-month campaign in Flower Hill. Herrington received 596 votes to Hirsch’s 233.
Herrington’s Flower Hill Party slate members also kept their seats, with incumbent Deputy Mayor Randall Rosenbaum receiving 562 votes and incumbent Trustee Gary Lewandowski receiving 577 votes.
McNamara, who was running for a trustee position under the same party at the time of his death, remained on the ballot as per the rules of the executive order, which called for candidates on the ballots to remain unchanged. He won the last trustee seat with 560 votes. The Flower Hill Party has announced an intention to place resident Claire Dorfman in the seat following McNamara’s win.
Under Hirsch’s Liberty Party banner, residents and trustee candidates Diane Turner, Jay Silverman, and Jeffrey Greilsheimer respectively received 240 votes, 232 votes and 225 votes.
The elections saw Hirsch challenge the Flower Hill Party’s petition with the aim of having it thrown out, only for the Nassau County Board of Elections to rule in the party’s favor.
Hirsch then filed an ethics complaint against Flower Hill’s chief election officer, village Administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer, alleging that she was assisting the Flower Hill Party in its campaign, with both Shatzkamer and Herrington denying the allegations.
Herrington later released an email sent by Hirsch offering to drop her campaign in July in exchange for the dismissal of village staff members and the dropping of harassment charges against her.
The mayor said in a statement to Blank Slate Media that the turnout was the largest in recent memory.
“The Flower Hill Party and I want to thank each and every voter for coming out to vote,” Herrington said. “Every vote was participation in democracy and a memorial to those who have sacrificed so much to protect and defend our democracy. To win with over 70 percent of the voters supporting our agenda is only part of the story. It is also a reflection of the good work the village staff is doing every day to help our residents. You can be assured that our team will be fighting in the best interest of this community every day.”
“I’m proud of the transparent, positive, grassroots campaign we ran,” Hirsch said. “It’s difficult to topple an entrenched, well-financed political party and unfortunately it didn’t work out as we planned. Myself and my fellow Liberty Party candidates are grateful to everyone who supported us throughout our campaign and on Election Day.”
“To those residents that voted for the Liberty Party, we know this was a statement that there are issues in the community you would like addressed,” Herrington said. “We recognize this and look forward to working directly with you in the coming months and years.”
Running unopposed, residents Robert Broderick and James “Jake” Corcoran each won two-year seats being vacated by Trustee Andrew Bartels and Deputy Mayor Ray Herbert, with Broderick receiving 63 votes and Corcoran receiving 66 votes.
Resident John Kurkjian, running unopposed for a one-year seat being vacated by Trustee Gregory Westfall, also won with 66 votes.
To the southwest, Plandome Heights Mayor Kenneth C. Riscica ran unopposed for his position and was re-elected with 139 votes.
Trustees Silva Ferman, Alvin Solomon and Dianne Sheehan were also re-elected. Ferman received 124 votes, Solomon received 129 votes and Sheehan received 122 votes. All three ran unopposed.
Plandome Manor Trustees Antonio DeSousa and Patricia O’Neill, both uncontested in their races, won re-election with 20 votes each.
Actu monde – FI – Herrington, party sweep in Flower Hill elections – Manhasset Times – The Island Now