In an upcoming November race in the village of Mamaroneck, Democrats will have competition for two open seats, after Republicans announced they will run candidates George Mgrditchian and Maria DeRose for mayor and trustee, respectively.
According to Lou Santoro, acting Republican Party chairman, the candidates represent the best chance for Republicans to retain their representation on the Board of Trustees.
“You need diversity and differing opinions,” Santoro said. “I think they have a very good chance.”
Democrats, however, will have a realistic opportunity to take full control of the Board of Trustees, ending a string of successive Republican terms for Santoro and Mayor Norman Rosenblum, who have sat on the board since 2010.
Currently the board is split between three Democrats and two Republicans.
Among the biggest items on both Republican candidates’ agendas will be changing attitudes on the Board of Trustees and even the village as a whole.
“My tagline is make the unfriendly village friendly again,” Mgrditchian, 57, said. “We’ve been using the tagline [the friendly village] on our stationary for so long we forgot what it means.”
To help bring his vision to fruition, Mgrditchian said he will work on deescalating partisan politics and reassessing relations with constituents.
“Go to our board meetings see how unfriendly it is,” he said. “Village residents don’t feel that the village is friendly to them any longer, and I want to bring back that friendly atmosphere that has always existed in the past.”
Mgrditchian currently acts as the president of the village’s Orienta Point Association, a collective of more than 700 homeowners in the coastal Orienta Point neighborhood and has previously served on the village zoning board, and as a former chairman of the village Republican Party.
Currently, he works as a general contractor.
For DeRose, 49, the entry into the race for trustee will mark a relatively quick return to village politics, after she lost a bid for a trustee seat in November 2016. That election saw three Democrats sweep and maintain majority control of the village board.
Among DeRose’s campaign priorities this time around, she said, will be instilling a sense of bipartisanship.
“Mamaroneck is just such a small village, it should be people working together for the village,” she said.
Nonetheless, DeRose said she will work hard to retain Republican representation on the board.
“It’s crucial,” she said about maintaining some form of GOP representative in village government. “If we had an all-Democrat board it would be chaos.”
Currently DeRose serves as the chairwoman of the village Ad Hoc Parking Committee and works professionally as the operations manager for Lorenz Science Group, which develops management software for life sciences companies in the U.S. and U.K.
Challenging the Republican candidates will be Democrats Nora Lucas and Tom Murphy, who are running for trustee and mayor, respectively.
Against the backdrop of this year’s local election is the absence of a mainstay in village politics, and the torchbearer for Mamaroneck Republicans, Rosenblum, who is forgoing his fourth re-election effort to instead run for Westchester County office against incumbent Legislator Catherine Parker, a Rye Democrat.