Incumbents Hold Philipstown Board Seats

Van Tassel, Leonard defeat challenger Greco

John Van Tassel and Michael Leonard, both Democrats, retained their seats on the Philipstown Town Board by comfortable margins over challenger Tim Greco.

Philipstown Democrats on election night: Supervisor Richard Shea, Town Board members Mike Leonard and John Van Tassel and Putnam County Sheriff-elect Robert Langley Jr. (Photo by L.S. Armstrong)

In the unofficial tally (including absentee), Van Tassel received 2,582 votes (43 percent) and Leonard 2,209 (37 percent). Greco, a minister and former Putnam County News and Recorder reporter who ran on the Republican line, received 1,187 votes (20 percent). Van Tassel won his third four-year term, and Leonard his second.

Richard Shea, the Philipstown supervisor who ran unopposed for his fifth two-year term, received 2,545 votes.

Van Tassel said the renovation of the 150-year-old Town Hall will be a priority. “It’s a disaster,” he said. He also cited the nearly completed overhaul of the annex, a former residence, behind Town Hall, as an example of what can be accomplished.

Leonard said his win was “all about results” in terms of the board “getting things done.” The five board members, he said, have “different opinions on some issues” but a common interest in collaborating.

Shea concurred. “We don’t always agree, but we know how to disagree in the right way,” he said. “I think people are pleased with the work we do.”

After the vote, at a gathering at Doug’s Pretty Good Pub on Main Street, Greco offered congratulations to Van Tassel and Leonard. He said the election had “played out exactly as I thought it would. I thought they had a great shot at winning, and they did…. Hopefully going forward, we can work together for a better Philipstown.”

At the same time, he said, the campaign was “the worst, the most negative run I think in the history of Philipstown. I’ve never experienced anything like that. But that’s how they won.”

Greco vowed to run again in 2019, when the seats on the five-member board held by Nancy Montgomery and Robert Flaherty will be on the ballot, and encouraged others to become candidates, as well. “It was a very easy process,” he said. “It was the American democracy at its best. And I had a great team.”

Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong and Michael Turton contributed reporting.

4 thoughts on “Incumbents Hold Philipstown Board Seats

  1. The voters chose well! Glad to have you all back representing the best interests of Philipstown. Thanks you for all that you do.

  2. Tim Greco lost because of what many Republicans are calling the “Smith Effect” that cost them the Sheriff’s Office, which had been in GOP hands for decades.

    The Smith Scandal vis a vis the Adam Levy case and the subsequent cost to the taxpayers was not lost on Putnam voters. I honestly believe that if Mr. Greco had loudly distanced himself from candidate Smith and denounced Smith’s dirty deeds, he might have had a chance to get elected. Greco had a lot going for him but I think that in the end, the fact that he did not separate himself from his fellow Republican may have cost him.

  3. The people of Philipstown have again placed their trust in John VanTassel and Michael Leonard. I thank all of the voting public for turning out and participating in the democratic process. Mike and John ran a great campaign and took their positive message of caring for our residents to the people.

    This election was won door to door. Mike and John’s hard work and proven track record of accomplishment topped the online rants. If you don’t like Facebook, just do what we do: Don’t use it. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to continue to serve with such a great Town Board. Thank you.