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Harrison Democrats Reflect on Campaign, Election Losses

Republicans took both council seats; the clerk seat; and the mayoral seat in Harrison, with Belmont receiving 63 percent of the votes.

Harrison Democrats lost the mayoral, clerk and both council seats in Tuesday’s election. Joe Derwin, chairperson of the Harrison Democratic Committee, was, like most others at the Halstead headquarters, “very disappointed. We are going to look at the numbers and see if there are more behind them or not.”

Not a huge surprise to Harrison residents like Purchase resident Gail Tolchin was the defeat of Joan Walsh (D, receiving 37 percent of the votes) by Ron Belmont (R, receiving 63 percent of the votes).

“Ever since Passidomo, it seems like mayors get two terms and then they get the bump,” said Tolchin.

Late in the evening, poll watchers informed Democratic headquarters that voter ballot boxes had malfunctioned in districts 14, 7 and 9. With 17 of 20 districts reporting, Belmont surpassed Walsh by 1,209 votes.

“Congratulations to Ron and the other two candidates,” said Derwin, “and we wish them luck. There was some pretty nasty stuff came out during the campaign, and I’m sure that had some impact but I don’t know by how much.”

With three boxes’ votes to be counted today, Derwin does not expect them to impact the overall result.

“They will have some weight, but I do not know what influence they will have,” he said, adding that, “We want to look at the numbers, so we really don’t have anything that we can definitively say about this race as compared to 2009.”

When this reporter asked Walsh what her legacy was, she had yet to really think on what it would be, only saying that, “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m proud of the way we have managed the finances of the town. There are still some things undone.”

One project that Walsh hopes will be continued is the MTA project, as it “was a Malfatano project that took four years to get where it is now.”

Belmont stopped his job to continue working on the campaign full time. This, Walsh believes, had a real difference in the election results. “I could not devote the same amount of time to campaigning as Belmont did, [but] I did everything that I could, everything that we wanted, and the people decided that they would rather have the Republicans.”

It was Frank Corvino’s (D) first race. Looking back, he learned that “it is a lot of hard work and a lot of energy.  It has been a fun ride, and it is not the end.”

If time calls, he would run again, but in the meantime, will be preparing for law school.

Walsh seemed surprised by the disparity of the vote, because “what people said to me when we rang on their doorbells, what they said to me at the meetings, and what the outcome of the vote was [was not the same.] If it was going to be against us, I was expecting it to be a much closer race.”

Ada November 09, 2011 at 04:25 PM
"Congratulations to Ron and the other two candidates,” said Derwin, “and we wish them luck. There was some pretty nasty stuff came out during the campaign, and I’m sure that had some impact but I don’t know by how much.” I commend Mr. Derwin for a gentleman's response to defeat, and will answer his question about the impact with their 'nasty stuff' way of campaigning. It was the most unprofessional & unethical show of intellect that most residents in Harrison have ever witnessed. Had you campaigned fairly showing accomplishments and interests for future improvements to downtown it may have been a closer vote, but your 'smear' tactics turned off a lot of Democrats in town as the votes clearly show. This is a close knit community and when residents read those horrible Ad's it caused many of them to think 'twice' as voting time got closer, in other words, those Ad's knocked out your campaign and so did the Harrison Watchdog's poor tactics. The Harrison Democratic Party really does need to reorganize with new blood if it wants to compete in any future elections. Yes, I am a Democrat and at the moment 'the only Democrat that I trust'! Regroup for the future, please...............
MARC November 09, 2011 at 08:16 PM
After 9/11, mandatory Health Insurance combined with the insane bailouts and tax increases, one would reconsider to ever vote Democratic again. At every gathering in Harrision I go to, West or East, the talk is always of the unbearable high taxes, empty stores and the illegal rents. Elections do indeed have consequences. I moved out of New Rochelle because if the same issues. You only have yourself to blame but its good to see the majority is finally beginning to get it. Lets hope the sanity continues next Nov.
Proud Citizen November 09, 2011 at 08:25 PM
Walsh seemed surprised by the disparity of the vote, because “what people said to me when we rang on their doorbells, what they said to me at the meetings, and what the outcome of the vote was [was not the same.] If it was going to be against us, I was expecting it to be a much closer race.” Hey Joan, you should seek medical advice for those voices you hear in your head. Where those voices you heard the same ones that told you complaints against the Police Dept! Maybe you weren't listening to the real people of the town! As far as accomplishment you have NONE except for putting Harrison on the map for not BEING a great place to live. Remember in Harrison elections people don't get voted in people get Voted OUT! So as that song goes Ding Dong the ***** is dead, So how it feel to get FED to the WOLVES!
HarrisonVeteran November 09, 2011 at 09:08 PM
Not surprised by her idiotic remark, thank God we are done with her!! She was by far the worst mayor Harrison has ever had, Harrison is a mess! Go Ron and Team let's turn Harrison into the great town it was before Joan!
JoeSchmo November 09, 2011 at 09:18 PM
lets not forget who started this mess, our new councilman, who somehow got elected which he should of never even got the nomination for
Harrison now November 09, 2011 at 09:24 PM
I agree with the joe m above. How easily everyone forgets malifano's irresponsible fiscal mess he created as mayor of this town. As for Marc above, to reference obamacare bank bailouts and other issues at the federal level is plain nonsense.
MARC November 09, 2011 at 09:38 PM
Harrison now is correct of course even though giving no examples or substance. Just because democrats at the federal level are about larger Govt, higher taxes and weak on defense certainly doesnt mean Dems would do the same at the local level. uh....right?
Harrison now November 09, 2011 at 09:55 PM
wow. "higher taxes" have been under both dems n reps in harrison. Just look at malfitano's great run from 2002 to 2007. And really, you cite "weak on defense" and somehow relate that to our local politics? I disagree with what dems are doing on a national level but to group local dems with congress is narrow minded.
MARC November 09, 2011 at 10:01 PM
There are indeed many Repubs who act like Dems. Theyre NOT Conservative. Theyre Republicans and called a RINO and they more then liberals gave rise to the ever growing TEA Party. And that local dem who is is hypnotized by racist clergy, has radical friends and is completely clueless as to the terror threat we face? Someday he/she may grow up and become a bit more powerful. (need an example?)
Harrison now November 09, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Looks like you have deeper issues with prez obama. I didn't vote for him but for more logical reasons than your fox news talking points. I guess 84 yr. Old and 70 yr old vetere and walsh could eventually turn into a lw radical. thanks for the history lesson; however mod. rockefeller rep. were the norm before your rw radical "conservatives" stole our party.
MARC November 09, 2011 at 11:21 PM
Of course with koolaid comments that like you didnt vote for your emperor. And you voted for Reagan as well, right? Prepare to throw even a bigger hairy next Nov. Oh and thanks for the laugh.
GoJo73 November 10, 2011 at 12:19 PM
I think Joe Derwin should be fired, he ran a terrible campaign, He used all his ads to attack Steve Malfitano. Even a moron knows that when you run against someone with no political experience, you point out your strengths. Apparently, they felt Joan didn't have any strengths to boast about...
GoJo73 November 10, 2011 at 12:26 PM
The ticket the Dems ran was pathetic too. Pat Vatere should have resigned years ago. They put a kid fresh out of college in one seat, and two months before campaigning started, Mr. Hollander had a childish rant in the paper about why he wasn't picked to be a little league all star coach. I guess he forgot little league is all about the kids. This ticket was doomed from the start!!
Ross Revira November 10, 2011 at 12:37 PM
Never heard an incumbent Supervisor say the challenger had an advantage because they could campaign all day.

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