Rockland’s New Day: Republican Ed Day wins County Executive race, Incumbents command local elections

BY MICHAEL RICONDA

After a long and often contentious election season, the unofficial final tallies have been compiled for town, village, and county races, showing County Legislator Ed Day ahead and victorious in the race for County Executive against former Spring Valley Justice David Fried and big name incumbents largely retaining their positions.

With all tallies in, the County Executive race, though comparably close, clearly went to Day. Day won 28,156 votes on the Republican line to Fried’s 30,393 votes on the Democratic line.

Day had significant turnouts in Clarkstown, but his success was mixed in other districts such as Ramapo, where the religious bloc vote was expected to swing in Fried’s favor. However, Day was gifted a strong grassroots showing on the Preserve Rockland line, with an additional 8,386 votes going to him over his Republican line total of 28,156.

By the time all votes were tallied, he was able to inch ahead of Fried with 52 percent of the vote over Fried’s 46 percent. Though Fried secured almost 2,000 more votes on the Working Families and Independence Party lines and absentee ballots still have to be counted, Fried conceded the race after the final tallies came in.

Most incumbent town supervisors retained their positions, often by clear victories. Alexander Gromack kept his post as Clarkstown Supervisor by a significant margin, nabbing more than 72 percent of the vote to Preserve Ramapo candidate Brian Moran’s 27.65 percent.

Much of Gromack’s victory can be attributed to the overwhelming boost he received from third parties, gaining a combined 3,576 votes on the Conservative, Independence, and Working Families lines. Even without the other party lines, however, Gromack would have won solely with his 8,589 Democratic votes over Moran’s 4,658.

Votes for town council members primarily went to Democrat Stephanie Hausner, who got 27.5 percent of the vote, and Republican George Hoehmann, who got 29.39 percent of the vote.

In Ramapo, Christopher St. Lawrence won a sweeping victory in spite of a continued FBI investigation into suspicious financial transactions surrounding the construction of Boulder Stadium. Though St. Lawrence has been marred by scandal over the years, he is a favorite with the religious communities of the town and won almost 55 percent of the vote.

St. Lawrence’s also owes to a division between supporters of Michael Koplen on the Republican line and Mike Parietti on the Preserve Ramapo line. Koplen got 13.6 percent of the vote, while Parietti received 31.38 percent. St. Lawrence’s Democratic allies on the town board also secured their positions against Preserve Ramapo challengers in a crowded race, with Yitzy Ullman and Pat Withers winning out over Betty Carmand and Weldon McWilliams.

In Haverstraw, an acrimonious race which saw back-and-forth accusations between incumbent Democrat Howard Phillips and Republican John Pennell eventually ended with Phillips on top. Phillips won over 71 percent of the vote, while Pennell only managed 28.6 percent of the total. The Haverstraw Democrats have run the town for over half a century.

In Stony Point, Supervisor Geoffrey Finn won 63.8 percent of the vote against Rockland County Times editor-in-chief Dylan Skriloff, who got 36 percent.  In spite of Skriloff’s loss, his running mates Thomas Basile and Jim Monaghan wound up winning the race for Stony Point’s town board, a partial victory for Republican voters.

The sole exception to incumbency success was Andy Stewart, who narrowly lost to Walter Wettje Jr. Steward managed 5,912 votes, but due in large part to support from the Conservative and Independence lines, Wettje beat him by only 36 votes.

Other notable wins include Demeza Delhomme, who nabbed the position of Spring Valley’s mayor in a crowded and hotly-contested race, narrowly defeating Bernard Charles, George Wargo Jr., Phillips’ favorite for Haverstraw Superintendent of Highways, Patricia Abato, who beat out John Giannettino for Suffern Mayor, and Republican Wayne Ballard, who barely pulled ahead of Democrat Dennis Malone in a very negative campaign.