MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- After beating a challenge to his candidacy petitions, Wayne McPartland, a retired New York Fire Department battalion chief, is the first Democrat seeking a seat on the Mount Pleasant Town Council in 10 years.
In fact, the five-member town council has been represented entirely by Republicans for decades.
McPartland told Daily Voice that he hopes to change that. "After 20 years of Republican rule, they don't want my opposition,'' McPartland, 64, of Pleasantville said on Friday.
Last week, the Westchester County Board of Elections rejected a complaint from a town Republican to candidacy petitions filed on behalf of McPartland, a first-time candidate seeking election on Nov. 3.
McPartland is challenging two Republican incumbents, Mark Rubeo and Nicholas DiPaolo. The top two vote-getters will fill the open seats. Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi, also a Republican, is running unopposed this fall.
The county Board of Elections rejected "specifications of objections" filed by town resident Aimee Nichols.
Nichols challenged petition signatures that failed to include a zip code or apartment number, according to McPartland. "We had way more signatures than needed, We all knocked door-to-door," he said.
McPartland said he and his campaign volunteers worked off a master list of registered voters provided by the county Board of Elections and avoided gathering random signatures from people outside of supermarkets or train stations.
McPartland, a native of Brooklyn, acknowledged he is being labeled an outsider because he moved from New York City to Tarrytown in 2001 and then to Pleasantville in 2005. "The last time I looked, New York City and Westchester are in the United States,'' he said. "I was always interested in politics."
In his campaign literature and on this web site, McPartland said he aims to restore two-party government to Mount Pleasant. McPartland said he also wants "a serious debate of the issues before the council. . . .No more rubber-stamp approvals of legislation proposed from on high."
McPartland retired from the NYFD in 2013 after 33 years of service, ultimately serving as battalion chief of Manhattan Division 3.
“Then I grew restless and decided I wanted to get back into public service full time,'' McPartland said.
McPartland, and his wife, Lisa, have three daughters, two of whom attended Pleasantville High School, where McPartland said he has taken part in the school district's education and substance abuse prevention discussions.
Mount Pleasant Democratic Committee Chair Janet Gandolfo, a Tarrytown attorney, called the majority of Nichols’ line-by-line petition challenges frivolous. “Claiming that the absence of zip codes, middle initials or individual apartment numbers in multi-timily dwellings invalidates the signatures of registered voters is clearly mean-spirited,” Gandolfo said in a statement.