A NEW DAY IN NEW CITY — GOP crushes Democratic axis of power in Clarkstown

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Republicans to take 4-1 council margin in Clarkstown; Ward system to be implemented for four council seats

The Republican Party, with the help of the new-found Reform Party line, has earned one of the most unlikely political victories in recent Rockland County history, sweeping town and county races in the Town of Clarkstown.

Elected supervisor by a comfortable margin (55-45 percent) Tuesday night was Republican Councilman George Hoehmann, while incumbent Councilman Frank Borelli (R) and newcomer John Noto (R) earned seats on the town board. Incumbent Democrat Shirley Lasker lost her council seat after over a decade and a half.

Lon Hofstein (R), who took Ed Day’s seat in the County Legislature upon Day’s ascendancy to county executive in January 2014 and who won a special election last year, easily earned a four-year term over competitor Christopher Martone (D). Republican incumbent Legislator Chris Carey held off a weak challenge from Democrat Tom Ninan. And Republican Frank Dizenzo completed his march to the highway superintendent position, dispatching Democrat Bob Milone and Conservative/Independence Party candidate Wayne Ballard (formerly the 18-year Republican incumbent).

Clarkstown, which is home of the county seat New City, is generally considered the most affluent and politically influential of Rockland’s five towns. It is also the home of the Republican and Democratic Party headquarters. The Republican/Reform victory represents an upset of decades old voting patterns that have dominated in Clarkstown dating back to Supervisor Charles Holbrook’s regime and beyond.

The Republican/Reform victory spells an unknown fate for the Conservative Party in Clarkstown, which led by Town Public Works administrator Ed Lettre has long controlled the swing vote that brought chosen officials to power. This year, none of the Conservative Party’s chosen candidates won seats on the Town Council or the Highway Department. The power of the Conservative label appears to have been usurped for the time being by the new Reform Party, which outperformed the Conservatives by a margin of 16.9 – 5.2 percent in the Clarkstown supervisor’s race.

Also in Clarkstown, the new ward system that splits the town into four council districts was approved 51-49 percent, but the proposal to increase councilmen seats from four to six was rejected by an equally slim margin.

In Stony Point, Councilman Jim Monaghan was elected the new supervisor, defeating Democrat former Councilwoman Luanne Konopko 62-38 percent. Councilmen Karl Javenes and Jim White were easily reelected as was Town Justice Bill Franks. The Republicans now control every position in town government except town clerk, held by Democrat Joan Skinner, who is currently recovering from a major health crisis. Even Skinner and incumbent supervisor Geoff Finn (D) had endorsed the Republican Monaghan for supervisor.

In Orangetown, Democrat Andy Stewart was reelected as supervisor by 55-45 margin over Michael Moroney, while the Democrats also picked up one member of the town board. Jerry Bottari will replace Tom Morr. Republicans still have a 3-2 edge on the town board there thanks to the reelection of Paul Valentine.

In Ramapo, Christopher St. Lawrence’s machine continues to produce both victories and criticism. All Democrats won election and reelection in Ramapo, while the Republican/Ramapo United ticket put forth a strong effort, earning in the mid-40s. Voters outside the Hasidic/Orthodox block vote supported Ramapo United by landslide margins.

In Suffern, Republican Ed Markunas is the new mayor, unseating Democrat Trish Abato. The Reform Party line was key here and in many other races, producing an amazing 35 percent of the vote in Suffern.

County Executive Ed Day earned the veto-proof margin he was seeking in the County Legislature, as Charles Falciglia, Lon Hofstein, Chris Carey, Doug Jobson, Jr., Pat Moroney, Laurie Santulli and Vince Tyer all won from the Republican ticket. Most of those candidates also ran on the Reform line.

The Democrats will run the County Legislature with an 10-7 majority.

Democrat Sheriff Lou Falco cruised to reelection over Republican Rich Vasquez 58-42 in a hotly contested race, while District Attorney Thomas Zugibe faced no opposition and will begin his third term in 2016.

For a complete list of election results see: http://www.rocklandgov.com/static_pages/elect_results/EL45.pdf

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