Westchester set to become Senate battleground

Courtesy of the New York State Senate

Two-term Republican Rob Astorino is vowing to help with a smooth transition as he conceded Tuesday night to Democrat George Latimer for the office of Westchester County executive.

Latimer, a senator and former assemblyman from the city of Rye, won a total of 57 percent of the votes Tuesday compared to 43 percent for Astorino, leaving Democrats to defend his empty seat.

The soon-to-be-open seat in Senate District 37 will likely be a battleground for Democrats looking to tip the balance of the Senate and Republicans who are hoping to maintain their tenuous hold.

But for now, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is congratulating Latimer on his hard-fought victory.

“I congratulate my friend and colleague Senator George Latimer on his victory and look forward to continuing our work to serve the residents of Westchester County,” Stewart-Cousins said. “These victories are part of the ‘blue wave’ which is sweeping our state and nation. We must continue to resist the policies of Donald Trump, and not empower those who would enact them.”

Stewart-Cousins and others point to other major Democratic victories — not just in New York, but in New Jersey, Virginia and Washington State — as a sign that voters are rejecting right wing politics and rhetoric.

“On Election Night 2017, Americans rejected the politics of division, fear and exclusion practiced by Donald Trump and the Republican leadership in Washington, a brand of politics followed by candidates down the ranks of the Republican party, sometimes meekly, sometimes cynically, sometimes with full-throated, hateful enthusiasm,” said John Santos, Vice President of 32BJ of the SEIU.

New Yorkers also responded by re-electing progressive New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his second term and electing Laura Curran as the first woman and only third-ever Democrat as the new Nassau County executive.