Sue Serino, a Republican whose district when she served in the state Senate from 2016 to 2022 included the Highlands, was elected on Tuesday (Nov. 7) as Dutchess County executive, according to unofficial results compiled by the county Board of Elections.
She defeated Tommy Zurhellen, the Democratic candidate, with 57 percent of the vote. A Navy veteran, Zurhellen grew up in the Bronx and Putnam County. For the past 19 years has been an associate professor of English at Marist College; in 2019 he walked across the country to raise awareness about veteran homelessness and suicide.
After redistricting in 2022, Serino lost her Senate seat to Democrat Michelle Hinchey. Serino, who is a real-estate agent, lives in Hyde Park.
The incumbent county executive, William F.X. O’Neil, was sworn in Jan. 3 to succeed Marc Molinaro, who left when he won a seat in Congress. O’Neil had been deputy county executive since 2012 but did not run for the top position.
✓ Sue Serino (R, C) 38,666 (57%)
Tommy Zurhellen (D, WF) 29,596 (43%)
William Grady, a Republican who has been the Dutchess County district attorney for 40 years, announced in 2019 that he planned to retire. Two of his deputies, Anthony Parisi, the major crimes bureau chief, and Matt Weishaupt, the chief assistant D.A., campaigned for the job.
✓ Anthony Parisi (D, WF) 34,810 (52%)
Matt Weishaupt (R, C) 32,539 (48%)
Brad Kendall, the Dutchess County clerk, was seeking his fifth, 4-year term. His challenger, as in 2019, was Kenya Gadsden, a Fishkill resident and former member of the Beacon school board. Kendall won in 2019 with 55 percent of the vote.
Kenya Gadsden (D, WF) 31,294 (46%)
✓ Brad Kendall (R, C) 36,143 (54%)
In the county Legislature, which has 17 Republicans and eight Democrats, Nick Page, a Democrat whose district includes three wards in Beacon, ran unopposed for a fourth term. Ward 4 is part of the district represented by Yvette Valdés Smith, a Democrat seeking her second term. She was challenged, as she was in 2021, by Ron Davis, chair of the Town of Fishkill Zoning Board of Appeals. Valdés Smith won in 2021 with 54 percent of the vote.
Ron Davis (R, C) 1,138 (40%)
✓ Yvette Valdés Smith (D, WF) 1,695 (60%)
There was also a race for one of the four, 10-year seats on the Dutchess County Family Court. The incumbent, Joseph Egitto, was elected in 2013 and appointed in 2018 as supervising judge. He was challenged by James Rogers, a former president of the Legal Aid Society, deputy state attorney general and deputy labor commissioner who is currently director of business development for the state Office of Cannabis Management.
✓ Joseph Egitto (R, C) 33,777 (51%)
James Rogers (D, WF) 32,922 (49%)
In Beacon, Democratic candidates ran unopposed for all seven seats on the City Council, including for mayor. There will be new faces representing Ward 2 and one of the two at-large seats, as Justice McCray and George Mansfield did not seek re-election.
They will be succeeded by Jeff Domanski, director of climate strategy at Arch Street Communications and former executive director of Hudson Valley Energy, and Pam Wetherbee, the operations manager at Hudson Peak Wealth Advisors, who served on the council from 2013 to 2017.
McCray was elected in 2021 and served one term; Mansfield, who recently sold his east end restaurant, Dogwood, served seven terms.
The incumbents who will return for their second, 2-year terms are Molly Rhodes (Ward 1), Wren Longno (Ward 3) and Paloma Wake (at-large). Dan Aymar-Blair (Ward 4) will be seated for his third term.
Mayor Lee Kyriacou ran unopposed for a second, 4-year term. Before his election, Kyriacou served nine terms on the City Council, beginning in 1993. Reuben Simmons ran as a last-minute, write-in candidate; there were 449 such votes recorded but Kyriacou received 2,244 votes, or 83 percent.
In Fishkill, incumbent Supervisor Ozzy Albra was challenged by John Forman, a former county legislator whose district had included parts of Beacon.
✓ Ozzy Albra (D, WF) 3,208 (62%)
John Forman (R, C) 1,965 (38%)
There were eight candidates for four seats on the state Supreme Court for the 9th Judicial District, which includes Dutchess, Putnam, Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties.
The seats were held by two incumbents, Francesca Connolly and Charley Wood, and two Rockland County justices who reached mandatory retirement age. Justices serve 14-year terms. The Supreme Court justices in Dutchess County are Christi Acker (elected in 2017), Thomas Davis (2021) and Maria Rosa (2012).
Despite its name, the Supreme Court is not the highest court in New York. That is the Court of Appeals. Instead, it is a trial court that operates at the county level.
9TH DISTRICT (98 percent of districts reporting)
✓ Francesca Connolly (D, C) 195,145
✓ Charley Wood (D, C) 184,576
✓ Rolf Thorsen (D, C) 180,570
✓ Larry Schwartz (D, C) 177,252
John Sarcone (R) 134,510
Susan Sullivan-Bisceglia (R) 129,465
John Ciampoli (R) 125,624
Karen Ostberg (R) 125,535
Francesca Connolly (D, C) 35,565
Charley Wood (D, C) 33,165
Larry Schwartz (D, C) 32,419
Rolf Thorsen (D, C) 31,675
John Sarcone (R) 27,848
Susan Sullivan-Bisceglia (R) 27,202
John Ciampoli (R) 26,326
Karen Ostberg (R) 26,066
There were two statewide proposals on the ballot. The first would allow New York’s 57 small-city school districts, including Beacon, to borrow up to 10 percent of the value of the taxable real estate in the district, rather than 5 percent. It passed statewide with 57 percent of the vote. In Dutchess, it received 62 percent.
The second proposal would extend for 10 years the authority of counties, cities, towns and villages to remove borrowing for the construction of sewage facilities from their mandated debt limits. It passed statewide with 60 percent of the vote. In Dutchess, it received