Originally published in the Eastchester Review.
Following a nationwide voting trend, Damon Maher, a Democrat, defeated Westchester County Legislator Sheila Marcotte, an Eastchester Republican.
According to unofficial results from the county Board of Elections, Maher garnered 6,482 votes, or 53 percent, to Marcotte’s 5,713, or 47 percent.
Maher, a 23-year resident of New Rochelle, was at the Coliseum White Plains when he discovered that he was beating the three-term incumbent Marcotte.
“I’m still kind of numb,” he told the Review on Wednesday morning. “I ran intending to win; I didn’t run to be another sacrificial lamb.”
Serving as his first foray into politics, Maher said experiencing the campaign trail was “wonderful.” “I was going door to door and met a lot of really nice people,” he added.
During the campaign, Maher followed the countywide Democratic playbook of aligning Westchester Republicans with President Donald Trump. He specifically tied Marcotte and County Executive Rob Astorino to Trump’s nationalistic views and agenda.
“First of all, we should have people reflecting our values at all levels of government,” said Maher, a managing partner Levy Davis & Maher, a Manhattan-based law firm that focuses on employment disputes.
Maher said his platform reflects what he believes are Westchester’s values: fair and affordable housing; banning gun shows on county-owned property; and a county free of xenophobia and fear-mongering. He also supports an immigration act, enacting a women’s clinic access bill that has been proposed at the state level, and funding for daycare.
But ultimately, this election cycle was likely more a backlash against Trump than anything else. “I think the most important factor was last year’s election,” he said. “A lot of people had a strong feeling that what happened doesn’t reflect the values of our community in Westchester and this district.”
Maher added that Marcotte supports much of Trump’s views. “I was the complete opposite,” he said. “We didn’t have to get into the nastiness of personalities, because it was very clear that we were very different. More voters agreed with me this time around.”
The county’s 10th legislative district covers the town of Eastchester, the village of Tuckahoe, and most of the city of New Rochelle north of Interstate 95.
County legislators are elected to serve two-year terms. In 2016, Marcotte received a salary of $57,977.
Marcotte could not be reached for comment, as of press time.