Tuckahoe Dems nominate full slate for village board election

Originally published in The Eastchester Review.

The Tuckahoe Democratic Committee has nominated three candidates to challenge for three seats on the village Board of Trustees that are currently held by Republicans.

Anthony Fiore will run for mayor, while Nicholas Naber and Kathryn Thompson will both seek trustee seats.

Fiore, 56, ran unsuccessfully for trustee in each of the last two years; but this year, he will challenge Mayor Steve Ecklond, a Republican who has not been contested in his last three campaigns. Fiore is a lifelong Tuckahoe resident, a volunteer firefighter for the Eastchester Fire District, and a former member of Tuckahoe’s auxiliary police force.

Ecklond is seeking re-election and will run alongside trustees Greg Luisi and Tom Giordano, both Republicans, who have been his running mates for each of the last three election cycles.

Thompson, 35, has also received the Democratic nomination. She has lived in Tuckahoe for two years, and has worked for four years at the Wildlife Conservation Society and the New York City zoos and aquarium. She said she is an advocate for the environment, education, and human and women’s rights.

Joining Fiore and Thompson on the Democratic ticket is Naber, a Tuckahoe resident of four years who teaches seventh- and eighth-grade history in the Yonkers public school district. Naber, 31, previously told the Review in announcing his candidacy for elected office that he was concerned with ensuring the village’s safety during the cleanup of a toxic property on Marbledale Road which has been approved by the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation. He also said that it was important to add more politically diverse voices on the village board, which is currently all-Republican.

The board has not featured a Democrat in two years, since Stephen Quigley, a Democratic trustee, died in office in May 2015.

During the Jan. 30 village Republican Party nominating caucus, Ecklond, Giordano and Luisi received the party’s nominations to run for their fourth full terms in their current board roles.

During the Eastchester Conservative Committee caucus on the same day, Conservatives chose to to cross-endorse all three Republicans.

A fully contested election in the village—considered unusual in recent years—heated up even more this week when three Tuckahoe residents announced that they had created a new party called the Tuckahoe Independent Party in order to run outside of partisan parameters in the March election. That electoral ticket features a bipartisan slate of Melba Caliano, a registered Republican, and Sarah DeRise and Jessica Cioffoletti, both registered Democrats.

With their entry into the race, there are now nine candidates vying for three available seats. No more than four candidates have run in a contested race since at least 2007.

Tuckahoe elections have also been plagued by low voter turnout, as no more than 300 voters have participated in any village election since 2007, when then Trustee John Fitzpatrick, a Democrat, won the mayoral election against incumbent Mayor Michael Martino, a Republican, by a vote count of 746 to 704.

The mayor and trustees of the village board serve two-year terms. This year’s election will be held on March 21. The mayor receives a salary of $7,282 per year, and each trustee receives an annual salary of $5,075.