by Dave Zornow
Nyack, Sept 13. — If the 2016 Democratic Primary left people scratching their heads, the 2017 Village of Nyack primary elections was a return to predictability. Incumbent Village Trustees Marie Lorenzini and Elijah Reichlin-Melnick will return to the Nyack Village Board, holding off a challenge from Joe Carlin and Anngela Vasser Cooper.
Keith Cornell, who has served as Village Attorney for the Village of South Nyack and Deputy Town Attorney for the Town of Clarkstown, will become the Rockland County Surrogate Judge, defeating Rockland County Legislator Alden Wolfe. Cornell received 5,549 votes (56%) to Wolfe’s 4,314 (43%). Wolfe will appear on the November general election ballot as the nominee of the Working Families party, having bested Cornell for that county nomination, 99 votes to 66 votes.
Elijah Reichlin-Melnick led all Nyack trustee candidates with 491 votes (36%). Marie Lorenzini finished second (355 votes, 26%), 67 votes ahead of Joe Carlin (288, 21%). Anngela Vasser Cooper received 215 votes (16%).
Reichlin-Melnick was far ahead of the other candidates with 36% of the vote almost ten points higher than the top trustee finisher last year. The candidate who received the most votes in the 2016 trustee race was newcomer Donna Lightfoot Cooper, who received 27% of the votes cast in last year’s Democratic primary.
Carlin, who ran for trustee in 2015, ran a polished and professional campaign including campaign signs, leave behind materials, a slick website and online advertising. Democratic insiders who backed Lorenzini were pleasantly surprised by her success, fully expecting Carlin to slip past her in Lorenzini’s bid for a third consecutive term. However, a late endorsement by popular outgoing mayor Jen Laird White of Lorenzini and Elijah Reichlin-Melnick followed by Carlin’s negative online rebuttal may have cost him the race.
Two years ago Carlin ran on a ticket that opposed many of the real estate development projects now underway in the Village of Nyack. He continued that theme in his 2017 campaign.
The incumbents ran on the village’s unique accomplishment of having two consecutive zero tax increase years. Carlin’s theme of “we can do better” didn’t resonate with enough Democratic voters to unseat the incumbents.
Don Hammond ran unopposed for the Democratic mayoral nomination. It is expected that Hammond, Lorenzini and Reichlin-Melnick will succeed in the November General election as there hasn’t been a Republican challenger in Nyack elections in over ten years. Three term Mayor Jen Laird White is not running for reelection.