With the Republican nomination in the rearview, former Rye City Councilwoman Julie Killian will prepare to take on Democratic candidate and state Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer in an upcoming special election for a crucial state Senate seat.
On Feb. 7, Killian won the nomination in a vote by Republican district leaders over candidate Dan Schorr, a former inspector general in Yonkers and previous candidate for Westchester district attorney. Both Schorr and Sarmad Khojasteh, who stepped aside just days prior to the nomination process, have pledged their support for Killian.
The nomination will kickstart Killian’s second attempt to win the 37th District state Senate seat after a failed bid to unseat current Westchester County Executive George Latimer, a Democrat, in 2016.
Because of a special election, there will be no primary following the nomination process.
Similar to her bid in 2016, Killian—who served on the Rye City Council between 2012 and 2017—will run on a platform of reform and bucking an Albany establishment through term limits and a redistribution of school aid.
Both Democrats and Republicans consider the open seat—which was vacated by Latimer, who assumed his role as county executive in January—to be a critical one as Republicans currently maintain just a one-seat majority in the state Senate. In New York, Democrats currently control the Assembly and governorship.
While Killian will position herself as an alternative to establishment politicians, Mayer will look to capitalize on a reinvigorated Democratic voting base, fueled in large part by opposition to President Donald Trump, that prompted an influx of Democratic votes across the county in November.
The resurgence catapulted Latimer and local Democrats across the county to a convincing win over seven-year incumbent County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, and established a new super majority of Democrats in the county’s Board of Legislators.
Both candidates will look to establish a quick presence in an expedited race that will be decided in a special election on April 24th, a date decided by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, earlier this year.
The seat is one of two open seats in the state Senate and the winners will face a quick re-election turn around in November when state legislators will run for a new two-year term.
The 37th Senate District encompasses the cities of Yonkers, White Plains, New Rochelle and Rye; the towns of Eastchester, Harrison, Mamaroneck, Rye, Bedford and North Castle; and the villages of Harrison, Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Mamaroneck, Larchmont, Rye Brook and Port Chester.