BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
Over 15,000 Rockanders turned out to the polls on primary election day Tuesday, September 12.
Voter turn out was highest among Democrats, largely drawn out by the contest for Surrogate Court justice between Legislator Alden Wolfe and Keith Cornell. The New City lawyer, Cornell, won the race handily, 5,549 votes to 4,314, despite strong support for Wolfe in Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities in Ramapo.
County Executive Ed Day won the Reform Party primary with about 65 percent of the vote. In the Conservative Party primary, Day holds a 54-vote (574-520) lead over Tom Sullivan. Day said, “The overwhelming Reform Party victory reinforces our commitment to continue on the path of reform.”
Almost 200 absentee ballots remain to be counted in the Conservative Party primary, many of them from areas Sullivan ran strong in. A high-ranking member of the Consevative Party told the Rockland County Times that party operative Sam Naemit was behind a stealth operation to register hundreds of new voters loyal to himself and Sullivan. The legal validity of many of Naemit’s new voters, however, is now being questioned by the Day campaign.
County Executive Day told the Rockland County Times, “We have won the Conservative Party race fair and square, the only thing that would change the results are voting irregularities and the possible illegalities from a small area in Ramapo.”
In all 10,811 Democrats showed up at the polls, while only 600 Republican voted due to a dearth of contested Republican primaries. The GOP primary of greatest interest was Clarkstown Ward 3’s council seat. Party leadership’s preferred council candidate Adrienne Carey defeated Don Franchino 310 – 179 votes. Though he is a registered Republican, Franchino was endorsed by the Democratic Committee and will face off against Carey again in November.
In other interesting contests, defrocked former village justice Alan Simon has won the Democratic Party nomination for mayor of Spring Valley with incumbent Demeza Delhomme running second, Emilia White third and Vilair Fonvil a distant fourth. The Democratic nominee in Spring Valley generally is a cinch to win the November elections.
The Republican slate in Ramapo easily won all Reform Party primaries, while the Working Families Party primary for Clarkstown was a dead heat. Incumbent Supervisor George Hoehmann received 45 votes and there were also 45 “write-in” votes.
Elijah A. Reichlin- Melnick and Marie T. Lorenzini won the Democratic primary in the Village of Nyack.
For a full list of results visit the Rockland Board of Elections website: http://rocklandgov.com/static_pages/elect_results/EL45.pdf