Democratic voters will have their choice among five candidates running to replace Assemblyman David Buchwald, who is fighting his own battle for a spot in Congress.

The candidates running for state Assembly District 93 are Kristen Browde, Chris Burdick, Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, Mark Jaffe and Alex Roithmayr.

All voting is by mail this year. For your vote to be counted, primary ballots must be postmarked by June 23.
District 93 covers North Salem, Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco and portions of lower Westchester County. 

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Kristen Browde
 

What issues are at the forefront for Westchester County right now? 
The top issue is recovery from the pandemic, and managing that process without stripping away vital programs and protections. In this field, I’m the only candidate who has experience managing large-scale operations through this kind of devastation, having served as a trustee of a multibillion-dollar nationwide union pension plan through recoveries from the 2001 dot-com bubble and the 2007-2009 Great Recession. While the devastation this time starts with the loss of a tragic number of lives, the financial devastation we’re facing at every level of government will require skilled, prudent and thoughtful legislators who recognize that no amount of budget pressure justifies cutting vital services, and who can convince colleagues that the right course is to protect New York, when we know Washington won’t.  

What are some challenges you face in the Assembly getting legislation passed? 
I’ve already succeeded in getting bills through the Assembly, including bills that have been stalled for decades. That’s why Governor Cuomo appointed me earlier this year to the group he designated to help pass a bill vital to women and LGBTQ families, allowing gestational surrogacy contracts in New York. That bill, which had been held up by more conservative Democrats, is now the law of New York, and it’s the fourth major bill I’ve helped steer through the legislature in the past two years.

Why are you the best candidate for the position? 
My experience in managing and rebuilding after a disaster, my relationships with the key legislators, the governor and his staff—people with whom I’ve worked for years to protect New York—make me the candidate best prepared to represent Westchester in Albany. I also have a profile vastly different from the others seeking the seat, and that leaves me able to say without fear of contradiction that while if elected, I’ll be but one of 150 members of the Assembly, the other 149 will definitely know that I’m there.

Chris Burdick
 

What issues are at the forefront for Westchester County right now?
COVID-19, the economic crisis, inequality and climate change are the most pressing issues facing Westchester. If elected, I will work tirelessly to help individuals and businesses get the essential economic assistance they need, fight to expand free COVID-19 testing, and continue to push for PPE and workplace safety. Both public health and the need for good green jobs demand we speed the transition to renewable energy. Affordable housing must be a priority.

What are some of the challenges you face in the Assembly in getting legislation passed?
Our state budget has taken a major hit. To rebuild with greater social and environmental justice, we must protect essential services, effectively funnel federal funds to our constituents, and kick-start the economy through green jobs. A crucial challenge will be maintaining education funding.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?
I’m the only elected official in this race, and that experience will be crucial. Right now, I am working around the clock, leading my town through the pandemic. I’ve been in constant communication with my residents, and—in conjunction with Mount Kisco Mayor Gina Picinich—have set up the only drive-through COVID-19 testing facility in Northern Westchester. Under my leadership, Bedford has cut carbon emissions by 44 percent townwide, broken ground on a sewer project crucial for environmental safety and economic development, built affordable housing on a timeline no one thought possible, and passed one of the strongest immigrant protection plans in the county. I have achieved this by working with every level of government, which is why so many of the district’s elected officials have endorsed me. They know my experience will allow me to hit the ground running on Day One, already understanding the needs of the district’s municipalities and how the decisions made in Albany will affect them. And I promise, no one will work harder.

Jeremiah Frei-Pearson 
 

What issues are at the forefront for Westchester County right now?
As a civil rights lawyer, community activist, and local small business owner, I got into this race to stand up for people targeted by the Trump administration, and to stand up for all working people by helping create jobs, guaranteeing quality health care, ensuring every child gets a quality education, and protecting our environment. I can deliver on these issues because I know how to take on powerful forces and make real change. For example, when the Trump administration put immigrant kids in cages, my law firm went down to the border to stand up for kids.  

What are some of the challenges you face in the Assembly in getting legislation passed?
We now must address a pandemic that has killed over 100,000 Americans while devastating our economy. We must work to save lives, protect our frontline heroes and safely reopen our economy. I am already working with the Legislature to improve conditions in nursing homes, which is why the state’s largest health care union endorsed me.  
Ensuring the safety of our seniors is my top priority and taking on the powerful forces that benefit from the status quo will be my biggest challenge in Albany. But successfully taking on powerful forces is a challenge I have always embraced. And, as a small business owner, I have a plan to safely restart our economy, support our small businesses, and create good-paying jobs.  
We are also facing an ongoing crisis that didn’t start last week when police murdered George Floyd; it started over 400 years ago. Now we must all come together to address inequality, discrimination, police brutality, poverty and systematic injustice. As a civil rights lawyer, I have detailed plans to address these issues.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?
I have dedicated my career to fighting injustice and standing up for those who are treated unfairly. These skills are now particularly necessary in government, so I respectfully ask for your vote.

Mark Jaffe
 

What issues are at the forefront for Westchester County right now?
Westchester needs to rebuild  its economy “better” after the COVID 19 health crisis and George Floyd  killing. I have always been a leader working to get better training for police, supporting our Veterans and first responders. I have a history of fighting for economic justice.  I led the fight for $15 as well as Reverend Jesse’s Jackson’s Rainbow Push Wall Street Summits. We helped roll out the Affordable Care Act in NY, served on Governor Cuomo’s Health Exchange Advisory Board &  worked as legal Counsel for the NYRX card that saved NY’ers over $300 million off their prescription drug costs. In effect; our efforts already doubled the wages of those at the lower end of the pay scale and we are ready to continue that success.  

What are some of the challenges you face in the Assembly in getting legislation passed?
Some politicians are too concerned about their careers, pensions  and committee appointments. They don’t want to rock the boat & won’t speak loud enough for the people they represent. I have had a great career and come to public service with my own pension & savings. I know all the State leaders and will be a common sense leader who will always be able to have my voice heard while I advocate & build coalitions to get the right thing done. 

Why are you the best candidate for the position?
I am the best choice for NYS Assembly because I will be ready to lead on Day One in Albany.  I have the experience, skills and a proven record of leadership and will develop common sense policies that respect our abilities to pay. As a small business owner who hired over 100 employees , treasurer of the Manhattan Borough Economic Development Corp who  cut  out wasteful spending, a successful attorney who created the Chamber’s “pro bono”  Legal Center and as the President & CEO of the Greater NY Chamber of Commerce that represents  over 30,000 business & civic leaders. I have been always been the BEST Choice!

Alex Roithmayr
 

What issues are at the forefront for Westchester County right now?
We must work to combat hate and end racial and socio-economic inequalities, and we must ensure those issues are addressed in our state’s post COVID-19 recovery – from protecting frontline workers, to supporting small businesses, and reinforcing our social safety nets so they don’t fail us again. In addition, I am focused on affordable housing, climate change, legalized cannabis, good government, student debt, and women’s rights.

What are some challenges you face in the Assembly getting legislation passed?
During my time in the Assembly, I helped pass over 65 bills into law. I have assisted with over 500 constituent cases. My efforts have worked to direct millions of dollars of state funding to our towns, schools, and libraries. Together with our current Assemblymember David Buchwald, I’ve passed a constitutional amendment that stripped taxpayer pensions from corrupt public officials, and a bill that would expose Donald Trump’s State tax returns. The biggest challenge to passing legislation is building the coalitions to get it done, and I feel I am uniquely positioned to bring bills that Westchester needs over the finish line.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?
I’m the only candidate with direct knowledge of what this job entails and how to be successful for our district in the state legislature on day one. Working for Assemblymember Buchwald as community liaison and chief of staff for the better part of a decade has given me unmatched preparation. I’m also of a new generation that has been dealt blow after blow, and yet perseveres. As children we watched thousands die on 9/11 - on our own state’s soil. We graduated from college into a job market during what was one of our worst ever recessions. And now we have been faced with a global pandemic as we struggle to start our own families, buy our own homes, and take on the mantle of leadership for our nation. We are ready and able to not only represent our own generation, but those that came before and those yet to come.