Former Yorktown Supervisor Don Peters has been named head of the Yorktown Democratic Committee.
Peters, who served a single term and was defeated in November by current Supervisor Susan Siegel, succeeds Patricia Mulligan as party chair.
He credited Mulligan with overseeing a rebuilding of the party organization, increasing the number of district leaders and modernizing the level of voter feedback and outreach employed by the committee.
“I just want to keep our Democratic party strong and build it,” said Peters. “It’s going to involve a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of work.”
The transition was made at a committee meeting at the Jefferson Valley Mall Monday night. Mulligan notified party officials or her intention to step down to devote more time to her daughter’s impending college search, her law practice and the party’s long-term voter turnout efforts.
First Vice Chairman Ron Stokes and Second Vice Chairman Brendan Tully, a candidate for state Assembly, passed on the position, which then fell to Peters. He plans to run for a full term as party chairman in September.
Mulligan succeeded Joseph Apicella, himself a former supervisor candidate who led the party for more than a decade.
Democrats went from holding two townwide offices during his tenure to securing a 4-1 Town Board majority, the Town Clerk’s position and endorsing the Highway Superintendent. That success was reversed to a great extent in 2009, however, when Republicans took the Supervisor’s office and an effective Town Board majority. (Conservative Nick Bianco was elected with Republican backing.)
That race reflected a wider trend that has been since echoed elsewhere, Mulligan said, citing Republican Scott Brown winning the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat and locally in GOP gains on the county legislature. She said Peters is well suited to lead the party going forward, having endured that “tsunami” election and staying closely involved in local politics.
“The benefits in this transition are many because Don is intimately familiar with Yorktown, its issues and challenges and proved himself quite the leader during difficult economic times,” Mulligan said.
She will remain a district leader. Peters said he intended since the election to keep a hand in the local political scene.
“I was brought up in Yorktown, and my blood runs green for Yorktown,” he said.
Photo: Peters and Mulligan at Peter Pratt’s Inn on Election Night, Nov. 3, 2009. (Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News)