The Journal News
It was clear election night in November that Republican County Executive Rob Astorino had pulled off a difficult feat, winning handily for a second time in a lopsidedly Democratic county.
But district by district results just released by the Westchester Board of Elections show that he won broad swaths of the county, including many Democratic areas, and captured high percentages of voters in Republican-leaning sections . Of 25 towns and cities, Astorino won all but seven, including some solidly Democratic municipalities such as Mount Kisco, Ossining and Yonkers. Countywide he won 56 percent to 44 percent.
Visit http://lohud.com/2013VoteMap for an interactive map of election results by neighborhood.
Astorino’s opponent, Democratic New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, won his hometown by only 53 to 47 percent, a major dropoff from his last run for mayor. In New Castle, a Democratic stronghold where Republicans had no party organization for years, the vote was nearly tied, with Bramson winning by just over 30 votes.
Mount Kisco Democratic Chairman William Serratore said he heard from a cross section of voters that the state and national issues Bramson focused on — including gun control and abortion rights — did not resonate.
“It was, I guess, the pocketbook issues they wanted to hear a lot more of from Noam,” he said.
Still, Bramson did better in many Democratic areas than former County Executive Andy Spano when he lost to Astorino in 2009. Bramson won White Plains, Greenburgh and Mount Vernon with larger margins than Spano. And he pushed Mamaroneck and Scarsdale, which both border New Rochelle, back into the Democratic column.
Though voter registration countywide has been trending Democratic for many years — with the county now 47 percent Democratic, 24 percent Republican and 22 percent unaffiliated — large numbers of independent voters and voters willing to cross party lines make many nominally Democratic areas competitive.
Bill O’Reilly, Astorino’s campaign spokesman, said without exit polling, the numbers can be hard to interpret. But he said a few points were clear: voters in high-tax areas liked Astorino’s tax message and his hard-line stance against the Department of Housing and Urban Development over the county’s 2009 fair housing settlement also made an impact. O’Reilly also said internal campaign polling consistently showed Hispanic voters favored Astorino by about 61 percent, which contributed to his win in places like Mount Kisco and Ossining.
“That had to play into a lot of the numbers,” O’Reilly said.
In Yonkers, there were few competitive local races to help draw voters out, said outgoing City Council President Chuck Lesnick. The response to Hurricane Sandy also gave several county leaders in New York a boost, he said.
“They were able to go around and show concern and empathy and deliver funds without making political statements,” he said.
And while Bramson’s issues polled well, Lesnick said, “the problem is that didn’t translate into getting out to vote.”
Turnout, which had fallen dramatically in the last county executive race in 2009, recovered somewhat in 2013. It went from 36 percent in 2005, to 30 percent in 2009 and 33 percent in 2013. But while Spano was able to get more than 100,000 votes on the Democratic line when he won in 2005, Bramson got just under 75,000.
“We campaigned very hard in town for the line, so it wasn’t lack of effort,” Serratore said.
To view the original article, please visit The Journal News website.