CARMEL, N.Y. - Republicans made a clean sweep in Carmel on election night with both GOP challengers winning two seats on the Town Board, according to unofficial results from the Putnam County Board of Elections.
Political newcomer and Carmel resident Robert Schanil, a former police officer, garnered 3,746 votes (39 percent), while former councilman and deputy supervisor Frank Lombardi pulled in 3,654 votes (38 percent. Democrat Jean Hopper finished a distant third with 2,199 votes.
The three were vying for two seats on the board that belong to current members Jonathan Schneider and John Lupinacci who opted not to seek re-election.
Lombardi had sought to be reelected in 2017 but lost when he and Democratic candidate Judie Mirra finished behind Republicans Suzi McDonough and Mike Barile in the general election.
He said he is happy to be back.
“I feel great; I am so happy the voters returned me to the Town Board,” he said from the GOP’s election night headquarters at Villa Barone. “I am very thankful and humbled.”
Lombardi said he knows there is a lot on the Town Board’s plate right now, and he wants to hit the ground running.
“We are going to look at all the projects with a fine tooth comb and I will give my opinions and try to make the people of the town happy,” he said. “The people elected me and I want to bring transparency and respectability back to the Town Board.”
It was Schanil’s first time running for public office, but he said he wasn’t surprised that he was the top vote-getter.
“I am beyond elated,” he said of the victory. "But I am not really shocked [to finish in first place]. The last three weeks or so I had a lot of momentum going. People were coming up to me who I didn’t even know telling me that I had their support. Knocking on lot of doors, I got to see how big Carmel/Mahopac really is. I got to meet a lot of people. It was great listening to them and hearing what their concerns are.”
When he takes office in January, Schanil said he wants to ease into the job and focus on the most important issues.
“I don’t want to be overwhelmed,” he said. “I need to focus on what needs to be done. The water districts are a major focus. I want to look at grant funding for that. If there is anything that can be tweaked I will do that but I also want to maintain the momentum that’s there.”
Other things Schanil said he wants to see happen are getting the rewriting of the Master Plan back on track and making sure board meetings are run in a “professional manner.”
In the race for county judge, Carmel Town Justice Joe Spofford defeated Philipstown Justice Camille Linson with 62 percent of vote, 8,339 to 5,014. Spofford will take over the seat of the late Judge James Reitz, who passed away earlier this year. County judge is a 10-year term.
Supervisor Ken Schmitt, Town Clerk Ann Spofford, Highway Superintendent Mike Simone and Receiver of Taxes Kathleen Kraus all ran unopposed and were reelected.