The first winner from the redistricting process appears to be a leader of the process himself, Mike Breen. The three-term City Council Member from the fifth district is running for a fourth term after voting to allow himself to do so by amending the City Charter last November. It was widely believed that an executive member of the Yonkers GOP, Ron Matten, was poised to challenge Breen in the June primary. However, the newly proposed maps move Matten out of Breen’s fifth district and into the sixth district.
Ron Matten ran for Yonkers City Council President in 2021. He lost to Democrat Lakisha Collins-Bellamy by roughly a thousand votes city-wide. Collins-Bellamy’s only proposed legislation so far was the aforementioned term limits extension amendment to the charter. This move was quickly challenged in state court by a dozen Yonkers citizens including Matten himself.
The proposed map draws the new district line exactly around Matten to the street itself. So with no likely primary challenger, will Breen coast back into his council seat? Or, will there be a tough general election against a Democrat? No one has yet to declare, but the rumor mill is circulating two potential names. Alessandra Restiano is a former Conservative party member and current Westchester County Board of Legislators employee. And the other famous surnamed potential candidate is Lenny Spano. However, it’s unlikely that Breen’s unwavering compliance to Mayor Mike Spano’s wishes over a dozen years will be punished with a Democrat challenge at all.
Other publishers have commented on the apparent quid pro quo Breen may have engaged in during his prolonged career. His recent vote to extend term limits for the mayor and himself – and the subsequent political protection he appears to enjoy – may be another case of just that.
The redistricting process is on-going. Maps have been proposed and are set to be voted on by the City Council soon. There are two public town hall meetings on Jan 23rd and Jan 25th where residents can voice their concerns. Petitioning for 2023 candidates is in February and the primaries are in June.