Running Away from Office

Bruce Apar is Editorial Director + Associate Publisher of River Journal North

We were beginning to wonder, What’s going on?  

Then, just as April was passing the baton to May, word arrived that yes, indeed, there will be a two-party election in Peekskill this year. 

The what’s-going-on part simply is a matter of observation, not a matter of our political persuasion. (River Journal North is happy to report on elections, and to host candidate forums, as we’ll be doing this year, but taking sides is not on our agenda.)  

It’s purely anecdotal, not a scientific study, but it’s hard not to notice a waning interest in running for office. 

Three-term Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey decided not to seek re-election this year.  

Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater, a winner his first time on a ballot, in 2019, has no opponent in 2021. 

Four-term Somers Supervisor Rick Morissey, who ran unopposed last time, has elected not to run at all this time.  

It certainly kills any conversation about term limits when there’s a scarcity of folks willing to even begin a term in office.  

In Croton-on-Hudson, while we heard intermittent rumblings that there would be opponents for the Democrat slate, that has not materialized. 

The same thing appeared to be happening in Peekskill, where all the action has been between two Democratic factions. That now has changed, as the submitted statement on page 13 of this issue attests, with the City’s Republican faithful fielding a slate after all.   

Still, it’s not as if citizens are eagerly offering themselves up as wannabe candidates. What does it say about our representative democracy if fewer and fewer people want to represent us?  

Could the soul-crushing culture of social media demonization and disinformation have something to do with it?  

Heck, in the current corrosive climate, you don’t need skeletons in your closet for some sociopath banging away fitfully on a keyboard to invent them and convince others they exist. The more our privacy is compromised, the more precious it becomes. The spotlight makes us sweat instead of shine.  

Which brings us back to the original question … What is going on?

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About the Author: Bruce Apar