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.”