Uncounted ballots stall Parker victory

Results posted by the Westchester County Board of Elections indicate that Democratic Rye City Councilwoman Catherine Parker has defeated Republican John Verni in the race for county legislative District 7, but Verni has not conceded the race and is awaiting the results of
the remaining outstanding ballots.

Results of the race for Westchester County’s District 7 legislative seat between Rye City Councilwoman Catherine Parker, a Democrat, and Republican John Verni are still in flux as remaining affidavit and absentee ballots wait to be counted. The county Republican Party anticipates there are roughly 500 votes outstanding. File photos

Results of the race for Westchester County’s District 7 legislative seat between Rye City Councilwoman Catherine Parker, a Democrat, and Republican John Verni are still in flux as remaining affidavit and absentee ballots wait to be counted. The county Republican Party anticipates there are roughly 500 votes outstanding. File photos

According to the county Board of Elections, Parker has 382 more votes than Verni’s 6,102 votes with 100 percent of the 55 districts reporting, but county Republican Party Chairman Doug Colety said there are roughly 500 absentee and affidavit ballots waiting to be tallied. If a bulk of the remaining votes are for Verni, it could mean victory for the Republican.

Results of the election are expected to be finalized by next week after the voting machines are recanvassed and all votes are counted.

“We still have to conduct our investigation,” Colety said. “With all that is pending, that’s why [John] Verni hasn’t conceded and we are in agreement with that.”

Verni confirmed with The Mamaroneck Review that he hasn’t conceded the race and the county Republican Party is investigating votes that may be disqualified after ink bled through the ballot.

“It may take a little bit of time, but I sent Catherine [Parker] a note that every vote counts and every vote matters,” Verni said.

If Parker maintains what seems like a victory, it will stand in contrast to the lack of success of most other Democratic candidates along the Sound Shore on Election Night, highlighted by the Republicans’ re-election of County Executive Rob Astorino as well as a four-member ticket in Rye and two incumbents in the Village of Mamaroneck.

Former Village of Mamaro-neck Trustee Tom Murphy played a small role in the District 7 race. Although Parker defeated Murphy in a Democratic primary for the party’s nomination, Murphy’s name still appeared on the general election ballot as a Working Families candidate. Murphy received 431 votes via that line that tradition suggests would have gone to the Democratic candidate in the race.

Parker announced her intentions to run in May after County Legislator Judy Myers, a Mamaroneck Democrat, announced she would not seek another term in office and endorsed Parker as her successor.

Throughout her political career, Parker is no stranger to close races.

When she faced Murphy in the Democratic primary in September, she snagged the nomination by just 100 votes. While running for re-election to the Rye City Council in 2011, Parker maintained her seat by a mere 4 votes. She was first elected to the Rye City Council in 2007.

Westchester’s seventh legislative district includes the town and village of Mamaroneck, Larchmont, Rye City and portions of New Rochelle and Harrison.

The seat has remained under Democratic control since 1992, when state Sen. George Latimer, a Rye Democrat, served as county legislator.

Parker did not comment before press time.

-Reporting by Ashley Helms

This entry was posted in News, Vote 2013 on by .

About Ashley Helms

Ashley Helms has been covering Eastchester and Tuckahoe for The Town Report since 2012 and has recently added Rye to her coverage area. Before joining Home Town Media Group, Ashley freelanced for the Daily Voice in Fairfield County, Conn., and was a social media intern at Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic. She graduated from the State University of New York at Purchase with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and gender studies. She currently resides in the Bronx. Reach Ashley at 914-653-1000 x23 or ashley@hometwn.com; follow her on Twitter @townreport.