Democrat leads in race for Legislature seat

Greg Johnston was elected on Tuesday (Nov. 2) as Beacon city judge, defeating incumbent Tim Pagones to win a 10-year term, according to unofficial results released on Tuesday (Nov. 2) by the Dutchess County Board of Elections.

Johnston defeated Pagones with 62 percent of the vote. While there are as many as 343 absentee ballots outstanding, Johnston had a margin of 750 votes.

Johnston appeared on the Democratic line and Pagones on the Republican, Conservative and Working Families Party lines. Pagones had challenged Johnston in both Democratic and Working Families primaries.

During the campaign, Pagones touted his experience as a judge against Johnston, who is a public defender.

The turnout was 32 percent among the 10,184 registered voters in Beacon. The results are unofficial until the BOE tallies absentee ballots starting Nov. 9 and certifies the count.

Greg Johnston (D) 1,974 (62%)
Timothy Pagones (R) 1,224 (38%)
Unofficial tally as of Nov. 2; does not include absentee ballots

City Council

Six candidates for the City Council, all Democrats, ran unopposed.

Four members of the council — Terry Nelson (Ward 1), Air Rhodes (Ward 2), Jodi McCredo (Ward 3) and Amber Grant (at-large) — did not seek reelection. Nelson, McCredo and Grant have all been on the council since 2018; Rhodes won a two-year term in 2019.

Two incumbents, Dan Aymar-Blair (Ward 4), who was first elected in 2019, and longtime at-large member George Mansfield, kept their seats. They will be joined by newcomers Molly Rhodes (Ward 1), Justice McCray (Ward 2), Wren Longno (Ward 3) and Paloma Wake (at-large).

Dutchess County

Yvette Valdes Smith, a Democrat who serves as secretary on the board of the Stony Kill Foundation, held an election-night lead over Ron Davis, who chairs the Fishkill Republican Committee, to represent District 16 in the Dutchess County Legislature. The district includes Ward 4 and part of Ward 3 in Beacon.

With up to 238 absentee votes still to be counted, Smith led by 117 votes, 1,385 (52 percent) to 1,268 (48 percent). The winner will succeed Frits Zernike, a Democrat who did not seek reelection to a third, 2-year term.

District 18, which includes Wards 1, 2 and part of 3, will continue to represented by Nick Page, a Democrat who ran unopposed.

Beacon resident Rachel Saunders, a Democrat who challenged incumbent Denise Watson for Dutchess Family Court judge, was trailing by 3,517 votes with as many as 6,404 absentee ballots to be counted. Family Court judges, who serve 10-year terms, preside over cases involving custody, divorce, child support, abuse and guardianship.

Robin Lois, a Democrat who is the incumbent comptroller, led Republican challenger Ola Nesheiwat Hawatmeh by 1,546 votes with up to 6,404 absentee ballots outstanding.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.


An earlier post had the results reversed, reporting that Pagones had won rather than Johnston.

A former longtime national magazine editor, Rowe has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Idaho and South Dakota and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. Location: Philipstown. Languages: English. Area of Expertise: General.

2 replies on “Beacon: Johnston Wins City Judge Race”

  1. I think you may have the numbers backward on the Pagones race if I am reading the Board of Elections website correctly.

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