Following weeks of speculation over who will carry the county’s Independence Party line in this year’s general election, Eastchester Republican Sheila Marcotte has finally been declared the winner of the Sept. 10 primary.
Marcotte trumped her opponent, Mary Jo Jacobs, a New Rochelle Democrat, by a decisive 118-47 vote, according to the Westchester County Board of Elections.
The victory was especially impressive considering Marcotte ran as a write-in candidate after collecting enough petition signatures from registered Independence voters to challenge Jacobs for the line. Jacobs’ name appeared on the primary ballot, while Marcotte’s name could only be written in by voters.
Jacobs was endorsed by the Independence Party, along with other county Democrats, stemming from an ongoing feud with Republican County Executive Rob Astorino and Independence chairman Guilio Cavallo.
Historically, Republicans have had trouble winning elected office in Westchester County without carrying the Independence Party line. And Marcotte said she felt it was a significant line to have.
“People feel the line represents a true independent line of thinking and voting for the candidate and not just a party person,” Marcotte said.
Constituents who support and are familiar with Marcotte may have voted for her in November regardless of whether she carried the Independence line, she said, but some Independence voters may have voted for Jacobs just based on her name appearing on the ballot as the party’s candidate, if Marcotte had lost the primary.
“I worked with the party, knew them and had the line for many years,” Marcotte said about her previous political campaigns. “It’s a hard thing to go and write someone’s name in.”
Though disappointed with the results, Jacobs said she is confident that her moderate point of view will resonate with Westchester voters come November.
“I was a little surprised with the results, knowing true Independence [party] voters are more likely to vote for moderates, like me, than Tea Party conservatives like Ms. Marcotte,” Jacobs said.
On Sept. 30, all candidates for elected office were required to submit financial disclosure reports to the state Board of Elections. According to those filings, Jacobs has raised more than $16,000 in campaign financing, while Marcotte’s filings were not listed, as of press time.
Both candidates will now be turning their attention to November and immediately engaging in a candidates forum in the Garth Road section of Eastchester on Wednesday, after press time.
Jacobs and Marcotte are running for Marcotte’s District 10 county legislator seat, which encompasses Eastchester, Tuckahoe and parts of New Rochelle.
-Reporting by Ashley Helms