Rye GOP Nominates Bill Henderson for Council;
Cross-Endorses Three of Four on Dem Ticket
By Robin Jovanovich
In making the announcement of its 2021 slate for Mayor and City Council last week, the Rye City Republican Committee stated they were “putting partisanship aside and doing what is right for Rye” by joining the Rye Democrats in support of incumbent Mayor Josh Cohn (I) and City Councilmembers Julie Souza (D) and Ben Stacks (I).
The GOP Committee nominated Bill Henderson, a 26-year Rye resident with a long history of community involvement, for one of the three Council seats up for election. He has been a member of the Rye Board of Education Audit Committee and of Rye Little League. He has also served as Treasurer and President of Apawamis Club.
“Bill is a CPA and an attorney and will bring his invaluable experience to enhance and reinforce our effective Rye governance team,” offered the Committee.
In a phone interview with Mr. Henderson this week, he shared that he has long been interested in politics and was “honored to be approached by members of the Rye GOP Committee.”
“Now that I am mostly retired, I have the time, and I think serving a town that is special and wanting to help keep it that way would be a good use of my time,” he continued.
What skills would he bring to the position? “I am good at problem-solving and always do my ‘homework’. While the national political climate is disgraceful, there is no reason that our local government cannot always act with civility and respect and I will work to ensure that.”
Mr. Henderson, 62, recently retired as a Partner with Ernst & Young’s Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services practice, where he conducted investigative, forensic accounting, and corporate compliance advisory services for firm clients. He worked previously as a Partner with KPMG’s forensic accounting group, in-house corporate compliance counsel for the Colgate-Palmolive Company, and as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Fraud Section in Washington, D.C.
He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Fairfield University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law School.
He and his wife Beth, an investment advisor at U.S. Trust, have two sons, Forrest, 27, and Thomas, 25, both of whom graduated from Rye City schools, as well as two dogs.
The Rye GOP stated that it is supporting the re-election of Cohn, Souza, and Stacks because they have “shown their commitment to good governance through strategic fiscal management, environmental stewardship, and leadership during the Covid pandemic.”
With Sara Goddard’s decision not to run for a second term, the Rye Democrats chose Lisa Tannenbaum to fill their ticket. Meanwhile, the Mayor faces a primary challenge from Danielle Tagger-Epstein (D) this spring; if she beats him in the primary, they will still face one another in the November election because Mayor Cohn will be at the top of the Republican slate.
Rye Republican Committee Chair Elaine DiCostanzo said, “Our goal is to recognize and promote those who bring excellence to the hard and demanding work of successful city management and demonstrate the ability to work effectively across political lines to address and resolve challenges facing our community.”
Earlier this week, DiCostanzo commented further on the Committee’s decision. “It has come to our attention that a statement was erroneously made that our endorsement was actively sought by the incumbent team. The Committee’s decision, to the contrary, was reached after careful consideration, by our members, of the integrity and leadership qualities that each of these individuals bring to this ticket. At no time did the sitting Mayor or City Council members contact us or seek our endorsement. We informed them of the direction we intended to take only after the conclusion was reached by our Committee.
“What inspires us about this team is their focus on substantive governance in the best interests of the Rye community and their commitment to staying above partisan battles that hinder consensus building and effective governance.”