Pssst, Democrats: Your vote today could determine who will represent Port Chester, Harrison and Rye Brook in the county legislature.
Ahead of the general election, seek the party's nomination today. The winner will go on to face a Republican opponent in the race for District 6, which encompasses the three above-mentioned towns and includes some 55,000 constituents.
Current County Legislator Marty Rogowsky, a Democrat, will vacate the seat later this year, retiring after a combined 13 years in office.
We asked both current candidates -- Mark Jaffe of Harrison and Daniel Brakewood of Port Chester -- a series of questions as voters head to the polls:
Local elections have been plagued by low turn-out. What would you say to voters to motivate them to head to the polls today?
Jaffe: We're voting for a very important position for county government, which runs our hospitals, our parks and our county police. It's a very large budget, and you need somebody who's a lifelong Westchester resident who understands how to advocate for the people of Westchester.
Brakewood: Very few people vote on primary day, and so every vote counts. Probably fewer than 1,200 people are going to vote in a district with 12,000 Democrats. Fifty [more] people turning out can have a dramatic impact. Fifty votes can swing this election.
Why did you decide to run to represent your community in the county legislature?
Brakewood: It's really important that people take on new opportunities. It keeps them fresh and excited about what you're doing. I have a lot I can bring to the county. At the same time, I'm going to come in with a fresh perspective and new ideas. There will be a learning curve, but it will be an exciting opportunity.
Jaffe: I know how to advocate and get the most for the Westchester County resident. I know how to get people together in a room and come out with a solution. I'm ready to hit the ground running.
What kind of change will you push for if you're elected to the county legislature?
Jaffe: I'd look at the red tape and cut through it. When you have respect for money, things can change. You have to listen, you have to understand what your constituents want. You need to learn to compromise. You need to learn to give and take...it's not winner take all, because we all live here. I'm very good at building relationships and compromising.
Brakewood: I have a lot to contribute to the county. I think there's way too much political bickering going on. [Priorities are] cutting out waste and investing in quality of life programs. Because I've been working in the Village of Port Chester, I have a good understanding of how the county can do more to support our villages and towns.
To read more about the candidates, and for more information about poll locations and hours, .
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