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Democrats Call Astorino M.I.A., Demand New County Exec Election

Westchester Democrats are calling for a special election for County Executive, claiming Rob Astorino is "missing in action" during his run for governor.
Westchester Democrats are calling for a special election for County Executive, claiming Rob Astorino is "missing in action" during his run for governor. Photo Credit: YouTube

This story has been updated to include comments from Republican County Legislator John Testa.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Eight Democratic members of the Board of Legislators said Rob Astorino is missing in action and demanded a new election for Westchester county executive, which Republican legislators called pure political silliness.

The caucus members said they introduced a resolution declaring the Office of County Executive vacant and called for a special election pursuant to the County Charter.

Westchester Republicans said Wednesday it likely will not get the votes to pass.

Astorino's campaign spokesman William O'Reilly declined to comment.

Westchester Democrats said Astorino's run for governor should be considered a violation of the County Charter and that he is "missing in action."

Section 110.01 of the County Charter requires that the County Executive “shall devote his whole time to the duties of the office.”

"What the resolution is saying is the charter makes it very clear that the county executive is a full-time position," Peter Harckham (D, I, WF-North Salem) said. "Even before he was inaugurated and sworn in for a second term he was off campaigning. Due to the seriousness of the challenges that we as a county face, we need a full-time County Executive and this County Executive needs to make a choice and he needs to be here in Westchester."

Democrats are calling for the election because they said "Westchester is failing on health, housing, County finances while County Executive spends substantial time outside of the county pursuing personal political agenda," the release read.

Legislator John Testa (R-Peekskill) said campaigning while holding an office is nothing new.

"It’s just pure political silliness in a way that’s distracting to what we need to do as a county board," he told Daily Voice. "This is the same group, they’re referred to as the former leadership of the board, and they’re former because of silly things they do like this."

Borgia, Harckham, Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh), Benjamin Boykin (D-White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison), Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), Catherine Parker (D-Mamaroneck, Rye, Larchmont, New Rochelle, Harrison), MaryJane Shimsky (D-Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Greenburgh) and Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon) are sponsoring the bill.

Brian Donnelly contributed to this report