Mount Vernon has seemingly become the epicenter of the 2013 Westchester county executive race. Both Republican County Executive Rob Astorino and his Democratic opponent, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, have repeatedly returned to the city to highlight endorsements by various groups.
This despite the fact that the city is not expected to be competitive. In 2009, 72 percent of valid ballots were cast for former Democratic County Executive Andy Spano, when he was badly beaten countywide, and only 28 percent for Astorino.
Astorino was endorsed earlier this month by Democrats for Astorino, which included the prominant clergymember the Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson. Before that Bramson was endorsed by Mount Vernon political and civic leaders.
And on Saturday, Astorino was endorsed by a group of black clergy in the city, including Bishop C. Nathan Edwers, the president of United Black Clergy and pastor at Friendship Worship Church. The Bramson campaign was quick to point out that the endorsement did not come from United Black Clergy as an organization.
Here is the Astorino campaign’s announcement:
AFRICAN-AMERICAN CLERGY MEMBERS ENDORSE ASTORINO FOR RE-ELECTION
Mt. Vernon, NY—June 22nd….A coalition of prominent African-American ministers, led by the President of the United Black Clergy of Westchester, today endorsed Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino for re-election. The announcement was made in Mount Vernon where the County Executive was surrounded by several African-American supporters.
The clergy members slated to attend today’s announcement include:
• Bishop C. Nathan Edwers, President United Black Clergy and Pastor at Friendship Worship Church, Mount Vernon;
• Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Mount Vernon
• Bishop Gay Thompson Steele, Pastor at Faith Mission Church, Yonkers
• Bishop Dominic Allotey, Pastor at Living Faith, Mount Vernon
• Rev. Michael Gerald, Pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church, Tuckahoe
• Rev. William Mitzell, Assoc. Pastor at Grace Baptist Church, Mount Vernon
• Pastor Reford Mott, Senior Pastor, Family Christian Center, New Rochelle
“The re-election of County Executive Rob Astorino is essential to rooting out bloat and waste in government so that services for the most needy can be protected,” said the President of the United Black Clergy of Westschester, Bishop C. Nathan Edwers. “County Executive Astorino has broad support among African American ministers because he has shown that he can do can more with less using solid fiscal management practices. These are tight times, and Mr. Astorino works tirelessly to lessen the pain and support the neediest in our county.”
“Rob Astorino has been a true leader for Westchester County,” said Pastor Reford Mott. “We’ve worked closely together over the past four years and it’s evident he cares deeply about the needs of our communities. He is taking Westchester in the right direction and we must continue on that path. I’m proud to call him a friend and enthusiastically endorse him for re-election.”
“I’m so proud of the diversity we have here in Westchester and it’s incredibly humbling to receive the support of Bishop Edwers and his fellow clergy members,” said County Executive Astorino. “I have had the great fortune of working alongside them in our communities to make Westchester a safer and more affordable county, where people can live and raise their families. We have made a lot of progress but there is more to be done and I look forward to everything we can accomplish together over the next four years.”