GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Delores Brathwaite, Arlene Gordon-Oliver and Walter Rivera are leading the Democratic primary elections for Greenburgh Town Justices.
As of 3 a.m. Wednesday, the Westchester County Board of Elections website showed 9,195 votes counted (84 percent of the total), with each candidate receiving the following amount of votes.
1. Delores Brathwaite (challenger): 1,826 votes (19.9 percent)
2. Arlene Gordon-Oliver (incumbent): 1,684 votes (18.3 percent)
3. Walter Rivera (challenger): 1,583 (17.2 percent)
4. Bonnie Orden (challenger): 1,461 (15.9 percent)
5. Sandra Forster (incumbent): 1,329 (14.4 percent)
6. Doris Friedman (incumbent): 1,312 (14.3 percent)
In the other Democratic primary held Tuesday, the present Town Clerk Judith Beville is defeating her opponent Sherron Fantauzzi by a landslide (62-38 percent).
The primary winners practically guarantee that they will take over next year, since no Republican candidates are expected to run in the November elections.
With only 1,750 votes (16 percent of the total) from 13 districts (out of a total of 83) left to be counted, Brathwaite's victory seems certain, as Forster and Friedman will lose their seats after spending more than 10 years as Greenburgh Town Justices.
"I think the people of Greenburgh want to see a different court, and I am ready to rise to the challenge," Brathwaite said Tuesday night at the Pizza & Brew restaurant on Knollwood Road, where all the four challengers gathered with their families and supporters to wait for the election results.
But Brathwaite didn't want to consider herself the winner until all the votes are counted.
"I am excited, I am happy, I am humble," said Brathwaite, who is the executive director of the Westchester County Human Rights Commission
Long time lawyer Walter Rivera, on the contrary, already spoke about the changes he plans to make in the court, among them the introduction of night court sessions and the use of volunteer lawyers as mediators, in order to reduce the current backlog of cases.
"I want to bring a different mindset to the court," he said, promising to cooperate with the other two judges.
Gordon-Oliver, who was appointed in 2007 and faced her first election, and Beville, who is in her second two-year term, went with their supporters to another restaurant, the Alaroma in Elmsford. Gordon-Oliver didn't want to make any comment, but Beville thanked her voters and said that her victory reflects her "ability to deliver services with quality and efficiency."
The Democratic Town Committee endorsed all the four challengers back in May. Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, who was also at the Alaroma, publicly supported Gordon-Oliver, Rivera and Beville.