YORKTOWN, NY – The Yorktown Republican Town Committee sought to continue its dominance in local politics this week by announcing its candidate endorsements for the 2016 elections. Unlike in years past, when multiple candidates had vied for a slot and ended splitting the committee vote by various degrees, this year, the committee cast unanimous votes on its first ballot for Senator Terrence Murphy, a Yorktown resident, Kevin Byrne, candidate for State Assembly and Bruce Bendish, candidate for Westchester County District Attorney.
Yorktown GOP Chairman Matt Slater said, “The Yorktown GOP has always had an independent streak when it comes to our endorsements but that is why our candidates end up being successful at the ballot box. In an unprecedented unanimous vote, we endorsed Kevin Byrne for State Assembly, Bruce Bendish for Westchester County District Attorney and our own Senator Terrence Murphy. I think we all felt these candidates were so good, there is simply no need to compete with them.”
Byrne, of Mahopac, is seeking to replace outgoing Assemblyman Steve Katz, who is a Yorktown resident and was the first person from Yorktown to serve in the state legislature. Although in the last ten years, political outsiders have managed to win this Assembly seat, each has done so with the backing of the Yorktown Republican Party and no candidate has won the 94th Assembly District Seat without the endorsement of the Yorktown GOP since 2006.
“I am so incredibly humbled and honored to receive such an overwhelming endorsement from the Yorktown Republican Town Committee,” Byrne said. “I look forward to taking a brief leave of absence from the private sector to serve the people of northern Westchester and Putnam Counties in Albany with the same commitment to limited government, fiscal restraint, defending the second amendment and providing the bar none constituent service the people of this district have come to expect from their representatives, all of whom made it thanks to the backing of the Yorktown GOP.”
Byrne received endorsements from Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace and Council members Greg Bernard, Tom Diana and Ed Lachterman, each of whom serve as district leaders on the Yorktown Republican Town Committee. During its meeting on Thursday night at Murphy’s in Yorktown Heights, the Committee also unanimously endorsed Bruce Bendish of White Plains on its first ballot. Bendish is a former prosecutor and noted criminal defense attorney.
“Bruce Bendish has the right temperament and experience to serve as DA,” Slater said. “We can trust him to be tough on crime and keep our streets safe while also being mindful of the growing heroin crisis that is plaguing northern Westchester and beyond. At the end of the day the Yorktown Republican Party is pleased to endorse such a qualified candidate, but there is no Republican or Democratic way to uphold the law and we can be sure that Bruce will uphold those ideals with a commitment to fairness and justice for all.”
Two other candidates had stepped forward for State Assembly as well as another for District Attorney and Slater thanked them for coming before the Committee to interview in February and March. The fifty plus district leaders in attendance voted for Byrne and Bendish unanimously on the first ballot. Senator Murphy, the first Yorktowner to serve in the State Senate, was also unanimously endorsed. He faced no opposition.
Yorktown is no stranger to local Republican primaries, a circumstance political observers feel contributes to the party’s strength locally. From 2005 until 2014, there were nine straight Republican primaries, Supervisor in 2005, Assembly in 2006, Town Justice in 2007, Assembly in 2008, Highway Superintendent in 2009, Assembly and Senate in 2010, Town Supervisor in 2011, Assembly in 2012, Highway Superintendent in 2013 and Senate in 2014.
Since 2008, the Yorktown GOP turned a 0-5 deficit on the town board into a 4-1 majority, captured the highway superintendent’s office and both town justice seats, delivered Yorktown for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, scored a 63% victory for County Executive Rob Astorino in his opponent’s hometown 2009 and 70% 2013, and elected the first ever Yorktown residents to the state legislature in both the Assembly and Senate, Republicans Dr. Steve Katz and Dr. Terrence Murphy.