Republicans on the Westchester County Board of Legislators expanded their caucus by one seat after two key victories on Election Day. The Republicans added to their ranks with the election of Francis Corcoran to the open seat in District 2 which was previously held by Democrat, Peter Harckham.

In another race for an open seat in District 3, Republican Margaret Cunzio won to keep that District in Republican hands.

The Election Day victories give the Republicans 8 seats on the 17 member board, the highest number since 1999.  Republicans have shared power in a bipartisan coalition with two Democrats, BOL Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D) Somers and Legislator Virginia Perez (D) Yonkers for the last two years.  This arrangement has led to the most successful and productive legislative terms in recent memory.

Legislator John Testa (R) Peekskill, who leads the Republican caucus as Minority Leader said, “It is wonderful that voters have chosen to continue the cooperative, bipartisan manner of governance that we have established over the last two years.”

Legislator-Elect Margaret Cunzio mounted her first run for public office this year. She is a professor at Iona College and Western Connecticut State University. Ms. Cunzio replaces Legislator Michael Smith, who was recently named President of Berkeley College. The district is comprised of Mount Pleasant, North Castle and Pleasantville.  “I am thrilled to represent the constituents of District 3 and look forward to keeping spending and taxes down while protecting our municipalities from the federal government's attempts to expand Westchester County’s obligations under the 2009 Affordable Housing Settlement,”  said Cunzio. “I am eager to work with all of my colleagues and County Executive Rob Astorino on the many issues facing Westchester. As a political outsider, I am committed to approaching my work at the Board of Legislators from a citizen’s perspective rather than that of a career politician.”

Legislator-Elect Francis Corcoran grew up in Lewisboro and has served for the last 12 years as a Town Councilman in Bedford.  In his professional life, Mr. Corcoran has worked in the financial/capital markets arena for 30 years.  Because the previous District 2 Legislator did not complete his term, in accordance with the Westchester County Charter, Mr. Corcoran will be sworn into office immediately upon his election certification.  This means he will participate in the review and negotiations for the 2016 budget.  “I am thrilled to have been elected to serve the people of District 2 and I am committed to serving them in a collaborative and bipartisan manner.  I look forward to getting to work on the upcoming budget, a task that my professional skill set is perfectly suited for.”  Corcoran added, “I am committed to protecting taxpayers and also homeowners.  As a Councilman in Bedford, I have closely watched as the County Executive and BOL Chairman Kaplowitz have worked to satisfy the terms of the 2009 affordable housing settlement and I intend to look out for not just the municipalities in my district but all the towns and villages in Westchester County which are imperilled by the federal government’s infringement on our local zoning rights.”