MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – A pair of Mount Vernon City Council hopefuls who were claiming to run as part of the “Independent Democratic Team” have been rejected by the party, which claims to have no affiliation with the two.
In a recent advertisement, Andre Bailey and Maria Caraballo represented themselves as part of the party, which Anthony C. Mitchell, the chair of the Westchester Independent Democrats, said was a disappointment and misrepresentation of the two Mount Vernon City Council candidates.
“As the chairman of the Westchester Independent Democrats, these two candidates have no affiliation with our organization or the Mount Vernon Chapter of the Independent Democrats,” he said.
Seven people are eyeing three open seats on the city council after filing their party nominating petitions last month.
Current Mount Vernon council members Yuhanna Edwards and Roberta Apuzzo – both Democrats – are seeking re-election. Karen Watts-Yehuda has opted not to run for her seat again in November. Watts-Yehuda has been a member of the council for more than a decade, being elected in 2000 and winning three elections since.
Watts-Yehuda cited personal reasons for vacating her seat, but added that it has been her “pleasure” to serve the citizens of the city.
Damon Jones, running on the Independence Party line, and Democrats Marcus Griffith and Damaris Mone will look to shift the balance of the council. The primary election is Sept. 10 and the general election is Nov. 5.
“Mr. Bailey or Mrs. Caraballo have never been vetted to be endorsed or given permission to represent the name Independent Democrat in the city of Mount Vernon or Westchester County,” Mitchell said. “This is definitely a misuse of people’s trust in our mission and beliefs and complete fraud to gain votes from people in Mount Vernon who otherwise would not vote for them.”
Neither Bailey nor Caraballo immediately answered inquiries from The Mount Vernon Daily Voice.