MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – It’s going to be a crowded ballot come election season in Mount Vernon, as several qualified candidates attempt to unseat the embattled, much-maligned Mayor Ernest Davis.
It’s still early in the process, but already, Mount Vernon Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson , former Mayor Clinton Young, Comptroller Maureen Walker, C ity Council members Deborah Reynolds and Richard Thomas have thrown their hats in the ring to challenge Davis, who was sentenced to probation and fined earlier this year for tax evasion charges.
Despite his challengers and detractors, Davis has earned the endorsement of the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee and Teamsters Local 456.
“Mayor Davis continues to give Mount Vernon residents results they can see," said Westchester Democratic County Chair Reginald Lafayette. "Through his focus on new housing and business initiatives, he has pursued economic development opportunities, which are good for the City of Mount Vernon. The Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee looks forward to enthusiastically supporting these candidates throughout the campaign season.”
Young, who was the committee’s second place choice, has long cited the Memorial Field debacle, which remains in a state of relative disrepair, as reasons to oust Davis.
“As a school board trustee, county legislator and ultimately mayor of our city, I’ve been committed to improving the standard and quality of life for the citizens of Mount Vernon,” he said. “Our history is significant and our people are proud. However, it’s difficult to hold your head high when opportunity passes you by.”
The mayoral race is expected to be a contentious one, with topics such as crime, the state of the city school district, Memorial Field, affordable housing and how to attract local business to a city in a state of rebuilding, to be addressed.
Hassell-Thompson has stated that this election is the time for change in Mount Vernon and the time to begin attracting younger families, with multiple projects in development throughout the city at long last.
“There are a lot of projects on the drawing board, and several that are just getting started on development, but think about how many years it took for them to get off the ground,” Hassell-Thompson said. “The taxes are high, and young married couples with children don’t want to be here because our schools our failing.”
“We’ve got to do something different. We have to do better, because we can do better. And we will do better.”
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