Silly season: Allegations of funny business in race for Peekskill Common Council

    Republicans address petition strategy

    Ramon Fernandez, Vanessa Agudelo, Andre Rainey and Colin Smith (Photo: Peekskill Democrats)

    Councilman Andre Rainey, the Peekskill Democrats’ candidate for mayor this fall, is accusing members of Mayor Frank Catalina’s ticket of misleading voters during the petition-signing process.

    In a message to supporters posted on Facebook Friday night, Rainey included a photo of the members of his slate and said the following:

    “I’m aware there are other Democrats doing as we are, asking for your signatures for petitioning,” he wrote. “However, before you sign, if they say they’re running with Andre Rainey and you don’t see these names, video tape them and do not sign. These people surely aren’t the type of people you want running your city. It’s saddening that I even have to post this.”

     Peekskill United: Catalina and Torres joined by two registered Democrats on Republican slate
    Sources: Peekskill Democrats choose Andre Rainey to run for mayor
    Sullivan mulls run for Peekskill Common Council
    Up for re-election in November, Councilman Vesce talks about his political future
    With her seat up for re-election, Deputy Mayor Drew Claxton talks future

    Bob Sullivan, County Legislator John Testa, Mayor Frank Catalina, Councilman Joe Torres and Lius Segarra
    Bob Sullivan, County Legislator John Testa, Mayor Frank Catalina, Councilman Joe Torres and Luis Segarra (Photo: Peekskill GOP)

    The Peekskill Post was told Friday that a relative of Rainey’s had signed a petition for the two registered Democrats running on Catalina’s “Fusion Ticket”—Luis Segarra and Robert Sullivan. The Peekskill Democrats contend that Rainey’s relative, and possibly others, were misled into thinking they were signing for the Democrats running on the Peekskill Democrat ticket, led by Rainey.

    When asked for a response to the allegations, the Peekskill GOP sent a press release to The Peekskill Post that reads, in part:

    “Peekskill United is committed on a bi-partisan focus of governing, which is why two of their candidates are registered Democrats. As duly registered Democrats, Luis Segarra and Robert Sullivan have opted to exercise their basic right to run for office and give members of their registered party a choice for who they want on the ballot in November. Many like-minded mainstream Democrats believe the same thing and are helping them obtain the required number of signatures on designating petitions to create a primary on September 12, 2017 for Common Council in Peekskill.”

    It continues:

    “Luis and Robert both feel the Democratic committee has brought forth candidates that lack the experience and qualifications to lead the city in the right direction.These party boss choices proclaim they are ‘Not Your Parent’s Democratic Party,’ which has many Peekskill Democrats concerned about the direction of the party. They look to divide the community and malign and lash out at anyone who disagrees with them.
    Luis and Robert are solid Democrats who want what is best for Peekskill and all families. They know that the best way to accomplish positive outcomes is to work together to bring collaborative and informed decisions for our community, and to do it in an open and transparent manner. To act with integrity and honesty, an approach not followed by present Democratic office holders. It is time for a change.”

    If the two Democrats running on the Peekskill GOP’s Fusion Ticket obtain the required number of signatures to run on the Democrat line before the Democrats on Rainey’s ticket do, the Democrats on Rainey’s ticket would be forced to fight for the Democrat line in a September primary.




    1. At this time, party designating petitions are being circulated. One needs to be an enrolled member of a particular party in order to run – in this case, The Democratic Party. Candidates who collect sufficient valid signatures will have their names appear on the Democrats only primary ballot in September. Only registered members of that same party may vote in the primary. Rather than emerge from “a smoke filled room” of party insiders as a candidate in November, Democrat candidates would be chosen by the vote of others registered in that same party. That is, all the Democrats of Peekskill. My understanding is that those under 18 are, however, excluded from voting. Perhaps that would explain Mr. Rainey’s disapiontment.

    2. “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” Many old-timers here in Peekskill will remember answering this question.