Monroe board candidates face no opposition in November

Tony Cardone

Three Monroe Town Board candidates will run unopposed in November, the result of a major shift in town politics since 2013 and a first taste of an election without Kiryas Joel’s involvement.

The United Monroe citizens group filed independent petitions last week on behalf of town Councilman Tony Cardone, a Republican running for town supervisor, and fellow Town Board candidate Mary Bingham and town justice candidate Audra Schwartz. Cardone, Bingham and Councilman Rick Colon have no rivals for three Town Board seats. Schwartz will run against Republican Bruce Furbeck to replace Lurlyn Winchester, a one-term justice who faces federal felony charges and has been suspended.

Town Supervisor Harley Doles, elected in 2013 by Kiryas Joel’s voting blocs, filed no Republican or other party petitions in July to seek a second term. He was later said to be planning to run on an independent line with Christine Tucker, his secretary, and Kate Troiano, a former Planning Board secretary, for the three Town Board seats. But the group filed no papers by the Aug. 22 deadline.

Board control already had shifted from Doles and his allies to United Monroe-backed candidates with the election of Cardone and Councilman Mike McGinn in 2015. This year’s election will complete that movement. It coincides with Kiryas Joel’s effort to secede from Monroe and take with it the voting blocs that have long dominated town elections.

If authorized by the Orange County Legislature on Sept. 7, Monroe voters will decide in a Nov. 7 referendum – at the same election in which they vote for town candidates – whether to form a separate town for Kiryas Joel. Kiryas Joel officials and United Monroe leaders, fierce rivals in the 2013 elections and the annexation fight that followed it, are now allies in the quest to form a Town of Palm Tree. Kiryas Joel’s political parties collected petition signatures to get Doles and his allies on the ballot in 2013, but didn’t do so this year.

With the end of the candidate petitioning period, the only possible competition Monroe’s three board candidates could face in Novembers is a write-in blitz – a highly improbable threat, but one that Cardone isn’t ruling out.

“Until I get the results on Nov. 8, I’m not going to be satisfied that I am supervisor,” he said on Monday.

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