Mayoral candidate Councilman Andre Rainey with Common Council candidates Ramon Fernandez, Vanessa Agudelo and Colin Smith Tuesday night at Division Street Grill. (Photo: Peekskill Democrats)

Last night’s primary results, in which the three Peekskill Democratic City Committee-endorsed Common Council candidates defeated the two registered Democrats endorsed by the Peekskill GOP, is a sign of a strong showing for PDCC candidates come November, according to party chair Val Alcena.

“I think we are sending a message to folks who think it is okay to run on the GOP line, folks that are unsure if the Democratic Party is their party,” Alcena told The Peekskill Post at an election night party at Division Street Grill. “We sent them a message in Peekskill that will resonate throughout the county. I think Democrats are willing to come together like never before—progressives, moderates. It is extremely indicative of what’s going to happen in the fall.”

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The unofficial results, according to the Westchester County Board of Elections, are as follows:
VANESSA B AGUDELO   1,090           28 percent
RAMON A FERNANDEZ  1,024           27 percent
COLIN D SMITH            1,055          27 percent
LUIS A SEGARRA             362            9 percent
ROBERT M SULLIVAN       325           8  percent
Office Totals                 3,856    100 percent

However, those numbers are deceiving because each voter in Tuesday’s Democratic primary was able to vote for three candidates. The county’s percentages above reflect only the percentage of votes won out of the total number of votes cast, not percentage of individual voters who voted for each candidate. (More on this in a later article.)

That said, in the hours after what the party is calling a “blowout victory for Democratic candidates and a “sweeping rejection of underhanded and deceitful Catalina-GOP political tactics,” candidates Vanessa Agudelo, Colin Smith and Ramon Fernandez were all smiles and looking forward to Nov. 7.

“I’m super excited,” Agudelo told The Peekskill Post when asked how she felt about the night’s results. “We knew people were going to come out big for us and they did! It reaffirms that we are running on the right values and have great ideas that people align with and think are great for the city. I have no idea what their platform is. I do not know their ideas or what they are running on. They didn’t show up to the forum, so I think that speaks for itself. People know they are not real Democrats. The mayor realizes the numbers are 3 to 1 Democratic in the city, so either he couldn’t get anyone to run on his line with him or he thought that having Democrats on his slate would get him the votes. I think in November this will turn out overwhelmingly in our favor.”

When asked about the showing of opponents Segarra and Sullivan, Smith acknowledged their respectable showing, but nonetheless exuded an air of confidence going into November.

“I feel good about tonight’s results. I feel that it is a pretty solid demonstration of how the Democratic voters in Peekskill feel about the Democratic candidates and I think it puts us in a very good position going into the general election. Now, there is no arguing that [Segarra and Sullivan] got a percentage of the vote—it was a very high turnout—and I think the idea of the Republicans running registered Democrats on their line probably did a lot to get Democrats out to vote and express how they felt about that. Yes, it is true that they received a percentage of the vote that was higher than some might have anticipated, but it also shows that Democrats in Peekskill—who are a majority of registered voters—chose the endorsed candidates and I think that bodes well for us going into the general election.”

Fernandez added that the key to the day’s success was teamwork.

“We worked like a team—family, friends and everybody. You know, there were people who were not Democrats who tried to vote today. As I said to you last week, we talked to our Democrats, told them what the other side was doing and they came out and voted. We have a lot of momentum and when we show people our platform they respond.”