Partisan anger is dividing America. We shouldn’t let it divide Rye. I’m happy that in these contentious times, Rye’s Democratic and Republican parties have joined forces to endorse the same three candidates: Carolina Johnson (Independent), Richard Mecca (Republican) and Pam Tarlow (Democrat).
We first considered it because Republican incumbent Mecca had earned the respect of all his Council colleagues, regardless of political party. They hoped he would serve another term. After mulling it over, the Rye City Democratic Committee saw the wisdom of a combined slate for the 2019 election. To its credit, the Rye City Republican Committee agreed.
If there was ever a year when a combined slate benefits the community, it’s this one. Vicious partisanship at the national level is fraying relationships at the personal level. The NYT says one in six Americans stopped talking to a family member or close friend because of the 2016 election. I know a couple whose political differences drove them to divorce. I know a woman who disowned her niece because she voted for a third-party candidate. How sad to see politics destroying cherished relationships!
Rye Democrats are energetic campaigners. We make phone calls, write postcards and ring doorbells to persuade voters, but this election we’ll forgo partisan politics to focus on building community. This is unusual but not unprecedented. In 2015, both parties endorsed Richard Mecca and Richard Slack in a special election. In 2007, as well, both parties endorsed a single slate. We do what’s best for Rye in any given year.
We have three wonderful candidates. Contested election or no, they’re exactly the people we’d like to see on the Council. We’re confident they will listen to residents and make good decisions. We hope you’ll meet them – we’ll host some meet-the-candidates gatherings between now and Election Day – and vote for them with enthusiasm.
Chair, Rye City Democratic Committee