The Peekskill mayoral and common council race is shaping up with city Democrats’ nomination of Mayor Mary Foster and three incumbent council members for re-election.
The council members are Drew Claxton, Andrew Torres and Marybeth McGowan. They were nominated Thursday night.
In early April, city Republicans endorsed attorney Frank Catalina for mayor. GOP Chairman Vincent Vesce said the party will choose its council candidates Wednesday night.
He said there are at least four or five people interested in the nod for the three slots.
Here’s the Democrats’ announcement, followed by short biographies of the candidates provided by the party:
Peekskill Democrats Endorse Incumbents for November Election
The Peekskill Democratic City Committee voted unanimously Thursday night to endorse Mayor Mary Foster for another term as Mayor of Peekskill.
Proven leadership by Mayor Mary Foster, Deputy Mayor Drew Claxton, Councilman Andy Torres and Councilwoman Marybeth McGowan in moving Peekskill forward as the business, entertainment, and cultural hub of the Hudson Valley earned the team unanimous endorsement by the Peekskill Democratic City Committee, (PDCC) for re-election this November.
Marina Ciotti, Chair of the PDCC, is excited about the results this seasoned and well-qualified team of leaders have achieved and the supportive business environment they have created. “The Democrats, led by Mayor Foster, have transformed Peekskill into a regional hub for business, art, dining and entertainment – all while dealing with an incredibly challenging economic environment,” Ms. Ciotti stated. “It is an exceptional accomplishment that, despite all the tough decisions they have had to make, Peekskill is successfully positioned to move forward towards an even bigger and brighter future.”
Ms. Ciotti also commented on the importance to the city of the re-launching of the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, the imminent opening of the first “Green” Holiday Inn Express in New York State, the ongoing transformation of the waterfront district and continuing business expansion in the downtown. “These examples of the wonderful things happening in our city, and more anticipated in the coming year, are why we are thrilled to support Mayor Foster and her team for re-election.” She went on to say, “I believe that the majority of Peekskill’s residents share our democratic values and I look forward to their support in helping to re-elect this team of dedicated public servants who will continue to move our city forward.”
Chairwoman Ciotti invites all folks interested in participating in the electoral process go to the PDCC website (www.peekskilldems.com
Peekskill Democrats Endorsed Slate for Mayor and Common Council 2013
Mayor Mary Foster was elected mayor in 2007 and was overwhelmingly reelected for a second and third terms in 2009 and 2011. She has championed sustainable commercial and residential development to support the vision of Peekskill as a premier cultural and economic magnet for the region. A highly capable and dedicated public official, Mayor Foster has jump started downtown redevelopment, is repairing our aging infrastructure, is aggressively attacking crime, has expanded youth programs and have kept property taxes increases minimal— a feat especially in these financially challenging financial times. Presently a Managing Director at Grant Thornton, LLP, Mary gives the City 100% effort. Drive by City Hall on any given night and you’ll probably see the light on in the mayor’s office. Mary is a member of the Mayor’s Redevelopment Roundtable, a member of the Mid-Hudson Sustainable Development Committee, the Treasurer and Secretary of the Westchester Municipal Officers Association and a Founding Member of the Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium. Mary is also a former board president and current Executive Committee member of the Mental Health Association of Westchester County. She is a communicant of the Holy Spirit parish and lives in Peekskill with her husband, Don, and their two adult children.
Deputy Mayor Drew Claxton, first elected in 1999, is the longest serving Democrat on the team. She is a strong advocate for our youth and our seniors, and works to ensure that we grow a downtown economy based on community character, arts and music, boutique shopping and fine dining. She helped create the city’s downtown historic district and successfully fought a plan to bring Yorktown’s sewage to Peekskill. Drew also helped start the Peekskill Reads program to help provide books and literacy support to Peekskill youth. Raised in Peekskill, Drew served four years in the US Air Force before obtaining her Master’s degree in economics from NYU. An economic consultant, Drew has traveled across the country advising local governments like Peekskill.
Councilman Andrew Torres was first appointed to the Council to fill a vacancy in 2008 and successfully ran for election to that position in 2009. Andrew’s parents moved from Puerto Rico to New York in the 1950s to give their family greater opportunity. He is the first generation of his family born in the USA. He grew up in Rockland County where he was very involved in assisting communities develop: housing, homeless prevention, and small business development programs. For the past two years he has served on the Peekskill BID Board. He holds a Master’s degree in Community Economic Development and has used that expertise to help push and develop the city’s commercial tax base. Andrew is an avid fisherman and sportsman. Andrew and his family are yearly participants in Peekskill’s annual Fishing Derby. He was a soccer coach on the Peekskill’s recreational soccer program for several years and this experience allowed him to consider the possibilities of increasing revenue for the city through recreational activities. His dedication and leadership helped expand the program to over 300 participants and a travel team. Andrew and his wife, Margery, are involved members of the faith community. He is a congregant and two-term vestry member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Margery is the minister at the Stony Point Presbyterian Church in Rockland County.
Councilwoman Marybeth McGowan was first elected in 2009 and is seeking her second term on the council. Although her primary focus is on economic development, she’s a committed community member who is actively involved in several youth initiative programs. She is on the governing committee of Hudson Valley Boat Works, a Peekskill Youth Bureau program where youngsters build wooden boats. Ms. McGowan is also on the board of Peekskill’s Be First Boxing organization, and is the Common Council representative to the Board of Education, the Peekskill Education Foundation (PEF) and Peekskill Agencies Together (P.A.T.). Marybeth is also a member of the Juneteenth Heritage Committee which is responsible for bringing the Juneteenth Parade and Celebration to Peekskill. Like many of Peekskill’s residents, Councilwoman McGowan moved here because of the potential the city had to offer. She moved here from her childhood home in Mount Vernon 18 years ago when she purchased a condominium at The Woods. In 2002 knowing that Peekskill was where she intended to live out her days, she purchased land and built a single family home. Ms. McGowan is Director of Medical Billing Services for BTQ Financial; a Manhattan based financial management company that provides not-for-profit clients with quality, affordable financial management services.