|YORKTOWN, NY – As part of its endorsement process, the Yorktown Republican Town Committee is conducting its public interviews for the positions of County Legislator (District 4), Town Council and Highway Superintendent. Interest in running for local office is among the highest it has ever been, according to Republican Town Chairwoman Serafina Mastro.
“The sheer number of resumes we’ve received from qualified candidates seeking to gain the Republican endorsement shows that those who desire to best serve the public trust recognize that the Republican line is key to winning office here in Yorktown,” Mastro said. “But year after year, the main reason the Yorktown Republicans have been so successful is the quality and caliber of the candidates we attract.”
The main question on the minds of many residents this year has been if incumbent Councilman Dr. Terrence Murphy will run for-reelection or throw his hat in the ring for the fourth legislative district, which he nearly captured in 2011. An announcement is expected in April.
Three other self-described “pro-growth and fiscally conservative” candidates have stepped forward to be considered for one of the two Town Board positions on the ballot in November.
The group includes Dorothy Forcina of Croton Lake, who is the Director of Corporate Partnerships at Mercy College. She has thirty years of business experience and previously served as Managing Director of the Westchester County Association.
Yorktown Heights resident Ed Latcherman also has thirty years of business experience, as a hospitality executive. He has a long history of community involvement in Yorktown, including fundraising for pancreatic cancer research and involvement with the Lions Club.
The third interested candidate is Rich Shaw of Jefferson Valley. An engineer by trade, Shaw is the General Manager of Sales for UTC Power. He is also an instructor at Wood Tiger Martial Arts in Cross River and an adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America.
Shaw has previously been rumored to be a candidate for higher office. “All three of our board applicants, along with Councilman Murphy, represent the best and brightest Yorktown has to offer and while I wish there were some way that they could all serve today, I know that one day they all will,” Mastro said.
The open Highway Superintendent job has garnered tremendous interest in the Republican endorsement. Current Councilman Dave Paganelli has announced he is a candidate and he says he expects to also receive the endorsements of the Conservative and Independence parties. He is a member of the Teamsters Union, with thirty years of management experience.
Mohegan Lake resident and local developer of note Chris Sciarra had said he was a candidate for the office, but last week announced he was stepping aside to endorse Paganelli. Former Yorktown resident Dan Carfi, a police officer, had also requested an interview, but has since withdrawn.
Yorktown Heights Fire Chief Martin McGannon is also seeking the nod. He is employed by the Joint Waterworks. McGannon ran a competitive race for Fire Commissioner in 2011. Ex-Yorktown Councilman Gregory Bernard, who ran in a Republican primary for the office in 2009, is again seeking the position. He served two terms on the town board, but was defeated in 2001 along with former Councilman Floyd C. Braun. Bernard works in construction.
Brian Amico, a lifelong Yorktown resident, has thrown his hat in the ring. The President of Frontline Waste Management, Amico’s business recently saved town taxpayers one million dollars on the new garbage contract thanks to the work of the board’s pro-business majority, Town Supervisor Michael Grace, Councilman Nick Bianco and Councilmembers Murphy and Pagnaelli. Amico says he would resign from the Board of Directors should he be successful.
Raymond Nikisher is a former police sergeant with twenty-five years of law enforcement experience, including service with the Yorktown Police Department. Since 1988, he has been the owner and operator of R. Nikisher & Sons Inc., a family excavation and construction company.
Putnam Valley resident Anthony Supino, the owner of A. Supino & Sons Septic & Excavation in Shrub Oak, is also interviewing. Supino says that as a small business owner, he would utilize his extensive knowledge and experience to achieve growth, stability and prosperity.
Thomas Diana, of Shrub Oak, who is not a registered Republican, owns a fuel oil delivery company. Recognizing the Republican line is crucial to victory in November, Diana has requested an interview, saying he needs the backing of the Yorktown Republican Town Committee and hopes to gain the party’s nomination.
“There is no better way to serve your community and give back to your neighbors than serving as an elected official,” Mastro said. “This highly qualified group of individuals who have stepped forward to participate in the democratic process are each deserving of praise for their willingness to serve the public trust. I am certain that whoever is nominated by the Republican Party will be successful in November.”
The Executive Committee of the Republican Town Committee and the Committee itself will conduct public interviews throughout March, with the official vote on endorsements to take place in April. Whoever is nominated will run alongside incumbent County Legislator John Testa, Town Justice Sal Lagonia and Supervisor Grace.
According to published accounts, the town’s Democratic Committee has thus far struggled to find candidates to face the Republican team come November.
Editor’s Note: The Yorktown Republican Town Committee was recently honored as “Town Committee of the Year.” This was the second time the Committee has received the honor in the past four years, which is truly unprecedented. Chairwoman Mastro was also honored as “Town Chair of the Year” for the second time. Since 2009, the Yorktown Republican Town Committee has turned a 1-4 deficit on the Town Board into a 4-1 majority, elected 2 Republican Judges, delivered 63% for County Executive Rob Astorino in Andy Spano’s hometown and easily delivered Yorktown in the 2012 Democratic wave for Mitt Romney, Senator Greg Ball, and Assemblyman Steve Katz.
For high-quality photos from the interviews suitable for publication, please click the photo above or visit https://picasaweb.google.com/115655722031014123343/RTCInterviews.