By Ashley Helms
Eastchester Republican Sheila Marcotte and New Rochelle Democrat Mary Jo Jacobs faced each other in a tight race for the Independence Party line in Tuesday’s primary, but the write-in votes have yet to be tallied.
The winner of the line will remain a mystery until Sept. 25, when Marcotte’s write-in votes will be counted, according to an official with the county Board of Elections. But by Sept. 12, the board said that it should have a rough amount of the total write-ins calculated.
Historically, it has been difficult for Republicans to win countywide office without the endorsement of the Independence Party.
Unofficial numbers provided by the Board of Elections show that Jacobs garnered 60 votes with 81 percent, 54 out of 66 districts reporting.
Incumbent Legislator Marcotte and Jacobs are vying for the county legislator seat in District 10, which includes Eastchester, Tuckahoe and a portion of New Rochelle. Though she was not initially endorsed by the Independence Party, Marcotte was able to collect enough signatures from registered party voters in the district to trigger a primary against Jacobs, who received the party’s endorsement. However, she was not listed on the ballot and could only be written-in on the ballot.
Jacobs said she hopes whatever political party constituents belong to, those who care about Westchester County will come out and vote for her in the general election.
“I am committed to fiscal responsibility, to efficient and effective government that offers programs that provide educational and social support with the goal of self-sufficiency, and to making decisions that respect the long-term improvement of our environment while protecting our community,” Jacobs said.
The Independence Party was embroiled in controversy earlier this year after Republican County Executive Robert Astorino’s campaign said Independence chairman Guilio “Doc” Cavallo endorsed New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, the Democratic challenger for the county executive seat, and other Democrats seeking county office out of spite when Astorino, after taking office in 2010, refused to grant county jobs to people in the Independence Party who were close to Cavallo. Cavallo endorsed Astorino in 2009 and was credited with helping the Republican win the county’s top elected seat.
In August, Jacobs failed in an attempt to invalidate all 159 Independence signatures collected and filed by Marcotte, alleging that the signees were not properly sworn in by a notary. However, Jacob’s claim was eventually dismissed by the county Board of Elections allowing the Independence primary to continue.
County legislators are elected to serve two-year terms.
Marcotte could not be reached for comment as of press time.