Jenkins to announce candidacy for Westchester exec Wednesday

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Westchester Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, long expected to join the 2013 race for county executive, will formally announce his candidacy Wednesday, his campaign said in an email today.

That brings to three the number of Democrats seeking to take on Republican County Executive Rob Astorino in what is expected to be a hard-fought campaign. Astorino beat incumbent Democrat Andy Spano in 2009 in a surprise upset but he faces a formidable registration advantage by Democrats.

County Legislator Bill Ryan and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson have already announced their candidacies.

Ryan said the key for the Democrats will be choosing a candidate who has the best chance of beating Astorino, who has upset a lot of Democrats with cuts to child care, health, conservation and other programs. Astorino has emphasized his fiscal record, including keeping taxes flat and avoiding the use of reserves in an effort to maintain the county’s bond rating.

“The scene has been set in a way where we’re really at a crossroads in Westchester,” Ryan said. “The people have to decide what kind of county they want to live in.”

Jenkins and Bramson could not immediately be reached.

Astorino has not officially announced his candidacy but his spokesman, Bill O’Reilly, said “he’ll be running when the time comes.”

“The County Executive is concentrating on governing,” O’Reilly said, “but will welcome a healthy debate with his eventual opponent after the primary. There’s lots of work to be done, and the politics can wait.”

Jenkins was elected to the Board of Legislators from Yonkers in 2007 and has been chairman since the beginning of 2010.

Photo: Legislative Chairman Ken Jenkins looks on while Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino delivers his State of the County address at the Michaelian County Office Building in White Plains April 7, 2011. (Vincent DiSalvio / The Journal News)

Westchester Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, long expected to join the 2013 race for county executive, will formally announce his candidacy Wednesday, his campaign said in an email today.

That brings to three the number of Democrats seeking to take on Republican County Executive Rob Astorino in what is expected to be a hard-fought campaign. Astorino beat incumbent Democrat Andy Spano in 2009 in a surprise upset but he faces a formidable registration advantage by Democrats.

County Legislator Bill Ryan and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson have already announced their candidacies.

Ryan said the key for the Democrats will be choosing a candidate who has the best chance of beating Astorino, who has upset a lot of Democrats with cuts to child care, health, conservation and other programs. Astorino has emphasized his fiscal record, including keeping taxes flat and avoiding the use of reserves in an effort to maintain the county’s bond rating.

“The scene has been set in a way where we’re really at a crossroads in Westchester,” Ryan said. “The people have to decide what kind of county they want to live in.”

Jenkins and Bramson could not immediately be reached.

Astorino has not officially announced his candidacy but his spokesman, Bill O’Reilly, said “he’ll be running when the time comes.”

“The County Executive is concentrating on governing,” O’Reilly said, “but will welcome a healthy debate with his eventual opponent after the primary. There’s lots of work to be done, and the politics can wait.”

Jenkins was elected to the Board of Legislators from Yonkers in 2007 and has been chairman since the beginning of 2010.

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17 Comments

  1. Not sure anyone can beat Astorino. He’s been a really effective executive and he’s a very likable fellow.

  2. This guy is certainly not the one to do it. He has been an obstructionist from day one. And, his recent budget tantrum won’t do him any good.

  3. This is a joke right…kind of like April Fools day.

    Jenkins has done more harm to county government that anyone else I can think of in decades. He is always partisan and always political and never about good government.

    This guy walked off floor and failed to vote on county budget – can you think of a better reason not to vote for this guy?

  4. You guys have nothing good to say about any Democrat, any time. Fascinating that so many Dems win in Westchester despite your constant collective negativity.

  5. The last true and effective and logic-driven Democrat in Westchester County was Ron Tocci and the Democrat leadership buried him.

  6. Astorino is so bad except for millionaires and those who have big bucks to contribute to his campaign

    He has single handedly alienated clergy, working poor, single moms, progressive logical thinkers, and anyone who loves Playland, the wonderful festivals at Kensico Dam, Sprain Ridge pool users, South Yonkers voters, and about 100,000 members family of hard working union members in Westchester and the region.

    He arrogantly keeps political appointees on the taxpayer county payroll while firing real workers to further his political ambitions. The work of those fired workers will in his twisted mentality go to contractors who then of course will contribute to his campaign.

    Even the clergy is publicly slamming him in the Dec 26 2012 LoHud Opinion Community Views statement for being the biggest hypocrite in the area of hurting working moms who need child care to stay off welfare.

    Astorino’s hollow claims to his so called work with the Catholic Channel and the NY Archdiocese is self serving at best aimed at those who are ignorant of the facts.

    Money has shown is Astorino’s biggest religion with his single message of money money money.

  7. Tocci was and is a conservative first, so no wonder you love him, and no wonder true Dems had their fill of him.

    OReilly is on the job for Rob, and he will help him just like he did for US Senator Turner, Congressman Carvin and State Senator Cohen.

    O’ for 3, O’Reilly.

  8. Looks like ol' Billy Boy on

    is worth every dime the neo-cons pay him — to the Democrats. Thanks Bill! Don’t quit your day job Bill. Whatever it is.

  9. Boardwatcher: Ron Tocci? Are you kidding me?

    Ron did nothing in 20 years. He was the epitome of the career hack assemblyman. He was “for” veterans, but can you name one major piece of legislation for vets he sponsored, let alone passed?

    His claim to fame is sticking NR with a property tax cap, to satisfy his South End conservatives after the Dems took over City Hall in 92. He reveled in the pain Dems went through all those years, pals w Republicans at home, but part of Shelly Silver Dem majority in Albany. He hated or disdained most every other Dem during those years.

    When given a choice, Dems bounced him in the 02 primary, and he left in 04 to avoid a drubbing. He got the Pataki Flu to help the Gov on a key vote, got 3 yrs in the DOL as a reward to pad his pension, which he now collects while joining Republicans to rail against Big Govt.

    Let’s REMEMBER history, not REWRITE IT!

  10. Tocci stuck New Ro with a tax cap? I don’t think so. Talk about re-writing history.

    New Rochelle’s original tax cap was put in place so Idoni could add a sales tax levy to saddle his residents with. Then after Idoni had spent all the excess money the sales tax brought in, he spun off the library expense and saddled his residents with yet another tax rather than try to balance the city’s budget in any meaningful way.

    Bramson has only continued this by using many gimmicks to balance his budgets and that’s why last year NR residents got hit with a 10++% tax increase and this year a 7% increase. I can only wait to hear what we be hit with next year. And he think’s he can run the county? Let’s hope nobody’s stupid enough to beleive that load of BS.

    NR Dems. only bounced Ron because they couldn’t live within the tax cap and sought the help of George Latimer who campagned to repeal the tax cap so they went with that idiot.

    NR- if you can’t tax ’em, then borrow the money or raise a fee, but never cut or reform anything.

    btw, I beleive it was Latimer, Oppenheimer & Paulin that supported Bramson’s mid-night rush to illegally transfer ownership of the NR Armory so that a developer could tear it down so there’s 1 for the vets.

  11. @ New Ro Man- did you just move to NR & get all your information from the NR Democratic Party website or from Noam’s emails? You sound like their spokesman with your one-sided opinion of Mr. Tocci. Remember, there are 2 sides to every coin.

  12. SALLY…living in NewRo many years. All the Little Joe stuff is same old NR GOP hooey…

  13. North of the Hutch on

    What you call hooey has cost New Rochelle millions & had lead to out of control property taxes that are unsustainable and are depressing the price of most household’s primary asset: home values.

  14. Out of control property and SCHOOL taxes! You said it! This will become a city of rooming houses and broken bottles.

  15. It's the school taxes asstorinobots? on

    Not county taxes that are the major bulk of your property tax bill. Greater than 75%. You are either ignorant of this, i.e., stupid/complete moron, or spinning the truth. Given who your employer is I’d imagine it’s the later. Now go fetch Bobby his picture of the pope, elevator shoes and beryl-cream.