White Plains’ Buchwald seeks to unseat Castelli
In a 17-1 vote on Feb. 11, the Harrison Democratic Committee chose to endorse White Plains Councilman David Buchwald, 33, as their candidate for the 89th state Assembly District seat.
The seat, currently held by incumbent Republican Robert Castelli, will be up for grabs come November. With time ticking down, Democrats in the Assembly district are making up their minds and endorsing who they hope will represent them in Albany.
This story originally appeared in the Feb. 16, 2012 edition of The Harrison Report
With two Democratic candidates in the race, four municipalities have already taken their endorsements to a vote.
In White Plains, Buchwald beat his opponent, Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, 67-1. Liz Shollenberger, the chairwoman of the White Plains Democratic Committee, explained that Buchwald, 33, has already proven himself qualified to run in his time serving the City of White Plains.
“He is a liberal Democrat who will vote as Democrats would like him to vote,” Shollenberger said. “All the while, he is someone who understands that taxpayers are already stressed and that it’s important to provide localities with some tax relief.”
In Harrison, Buchwald received the endorsement after winning over Frei-Pearson, 33, in yet another landslide decision. In addition, Buchwald received the vote of Dr. Clifford Gevirtz, a Harrison Democrat who until recently was also seeking the
Joe Derwin, the chairman of the Harrison Democratic Committee, explained that Buchwald’s electability is a key element, along with his experience.
“I think that his background may give him a little bit of an upper hand against the other candidates,” Derwin said.
On Feb. 13, Pound Ridge and Bedford Democrats also announced their endorsements for a Democratic candidate.
Winning unanimously in Pound Ridge, Buchwald received the Democratic endorsement in what the committee chairperson, Roslyn Stone-Pollock, felt was a “difficult decision.”
Bedford Democrats, on the other hand, chose to endorse Frei-Pearson in a decision that went differently than those in the other three municipalities. Winning in an 11-9 decision, Bedford Democrats said they found Frei-Pearson to be more charismatic and found he could connect better with the people in the community.
Bruce Yablon, the chairman of the Bedford Democratic Committee, explained that a member of Frei-Pearson’s family is a district leader in Bedford and rallied prior to the vote.
Frei-Pearson said he doesn’t intend to give up without a fight. Receiving an endorsement from Democrat Peter Harckham, the majority leader on the Westchester Board of Legislators, Frei-Pearson may see if momentum can carry him through a party primary.
“It’s way too early to call,” Frei-Pearson said. “We need to see how everything shapes out.”
With over nine months before Election Day, Democrats in the remaining five municipalities that make up the state district are expected to come to a decision shortly.
With high hopes, both Buchwald and Frei-Pearson intend to do all they can to prepare for the election.
Meanwhile, incumbent Assemblyman Castelli explained that he would continue doing the work he was elected to do.
“I feel fine, I have a pretty good record to run on,” Castelli said. “I look forward to debating with any potential candidates we may have and certainly running on that record.”