Port Chester Democrats are nominating just three trustee candidates to run for the six open trustee seats in March – a new strategy for the village’s second go-round with cumulative voting.
The party is nominating Daniel Brakewood and Luis Marino for re-election and nominating Greg Adams to return to the village board. It’s leaving the other three trustee seats up for grabs. This way, party Chairman Ray Sculky says, the party can channel its voting strength on the three, and put out the call to cast two votes apiece for each member of the slate.
Such “plumping” of votes is a strategy made possible by the cumulative voting method, adopted three years ago: As always, voters in Port Chester will get one vote to cast for each trustee seat. But under the election system that resulted from the U.S. Department of Justice voting rights lawsuit, voters now elect all six trustees at once, rather than two per year, and they may assign their six votes any which way—putting all of them on one candidate or distributing them among several candidates in any combination. In 2010, the party nominated four candidates for trustee and won two seats.
The race for mayor is not affected by this change, but it coincides this year with the trustee election. Democrats nominated Mayor Dennis Pilla for re-election during last night’s caucus. The party currently holds the mayoralty and two trustee seats; its strategy is designed to gain a 4-3 majority on the village board.
Republicans and Conservatives are meeting tonight.