George Latimer (New York politician)

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George S. Latimer
County Executive of Westchester County
Assumed office
January 1, 2018
Preceded byRob Astorino
Member of the New York Senate
from the 37th district
In office
January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2017
Preceded bySuzi Oppenheimer
Succeeded byShelley Mayer
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 91st district
In office
January 1, 2005 – December 31, 2012
Preceded byRonald Tocci
Succeeded bySteven Otis
Personal details
Born (1953-11-22) November 22, 1953 (age 65)
Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceRye, New York, U.S.

George S. Latimer (born November 22, 1953) is an American Democratic politician who currently serves as County Executive of Westchester County, New York. Prior to being elected Executive, Latimer was a member of the New York State Senate for the 37th District; he was first elected to that post in 2012. Latimer previously served on the Rye city council, in the Westchester County legislature, and in the New York State Assembly. Latimer was elected as the Westchester County Executive in November 2017, defeating Incumbent Rob Astorino. Latimer has never lost an election in three decades in public office.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Mt. Vernon, New York to Stanley and Loretta (née Miner) Latimer, Latimer attended local public schools. He graduated with a B.A. from Fordham University in the Bronx in 1974 and received a Master's Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from New York University's Wagner School in 1976.

He worked for two decades as a marketing executive in the hospitality industry for major organizations, including subsidiaries of Nestle and ITT.[2]

Career prior to 2010[edit]

Latimer first ran for public office in 1987; he won a seat on the Rye City Council, finishing first in a field of 6 major party candidates. Latimer was elevated in 1991 to the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the first-ever Democrat to win the 7th District seat representing Rye City, Larchmont Village, and Mamaroneck Town and Village. Latimer was re-elected in 1993, 1995, and 1997; in January 1998, Democrats won a majority of seats in the County Board for the first time in 90 years. Latimer was elected to chair the board, and was the first Democrat ever to do so. He was re-elected to his legislative seat in 1999, and served a second term as chairman from 2000 to 2001.[3]

During his tenure as chair, Latimer was the first chair to widely pick members of the minority party (Republicans) to chair committees alongside Democrats. He presided over three budget adoptions that cut the total county tax levy (FY 1999, FY 2000 and FY 2001).[citation needed] Latimer established cable television coverage of County Board meetings and helped shepherd major legislation on human rights, environmental protection, gun safe storage, and waste hauler regulations to passage. He led the board through a 2001 redistricting plan, including members of the League of Women Voters on the committee to ensure a balanced approached to redistricting.[citation needed]

Latimer did not seek a third term as chair in 2002, having been re-elected to a sixth term in the Westchester County Legislature. Westchester County Democrats elected him County Democratic Party Chairman in September 2002, where he served one two-year term. After re-election to the County Legislature in 2003, Latimer sought and won a seat in the New York State Assembly in 2004. In the Assembly, Latimer represented the 91st District, which included the Sound Shore communities of New Rochelle, Rye Brook, and Port Chester alongside the communities of his County Legislative District. He defeated his Republican opponent Vincent Malfetano with over 68% of the vote, carrying each of the district's seven cities, towns and villages. Latimer was re-elected to the Assembly seat without opposition in 2006, and scored 71% of the vote in his 2008 victory over Republican Rob Biagi. Latimer won a fourth Assembly term in 2010, defeating Conservative Republican Bill Reed with 67% of the vote.

New York State Senate[edit]

Upon the retirement of Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D) in January 2012, Latimer, a Democrat, ran for New York State Senate in the 37th District against Republican Bob Cohen, prevailing by nearly 10,000 votes--54% to 46%--in one of New York State's top five closely watched Senate races. In the Senate, Latimer was named Ranking Member of the Senate Education Committee and served on a number of other committees. In the 2013 State Legislative session, eight Latimer-sponsored bills passed the Senate; Latimer was tied for third-most productive senator among the 26 Democratic Senators. Latimer was re-elected to a second term in November 2014, defeating Republican Joseph L. Dillon by 52% to 48%.[citation needed]

In 2016, Latimer was challenged by Republican Rye City Council member Julie Killian. Killian's campaign outspent Latimer's by nearly 5-to-1.[4] He won a third term, defeating Killian by 56% to 44%.[5]

Westchester County Executive[edit]

In 2017, Latimer challenged incumbent Republican Rob Astorino for Westchester County Executive. Latimer was endorsed by the Reform Party of New York State, which was founded in 2014 by Astorino.[6]

During the campaign, Astorino attacked Latimer because a house belonging to his late mother-in-law was delinquent on $46,000 in property taxes.[7] Latimer said that the taxes would be paid as soon as the estate was settled, and that he was not responsible for the taxes as he did not own the house. An investigation by News 12 showed that Latimer's name did not appear on the deed to the house.[8] Latimer also "came under fire for...having a car-registration suspension on his record,"[9] and for missing state budget votes in April 2017.[10][11][12][13] Astorino called for Latimer to "step down from the state Senate's Education Committee because he missed the state budget vote..."[14]

The state budget was passed a week after the April 1 deadline this year, and Latimer missed the votes on legislation approving school funding, tax revenues and the capital budget."[10] Latimer accused Astorino of "trying to divert voters attention"'

The Latimer campaign, in turn, accused Astorino of receiving a sweetheart deal on a Rolex watch due to his relationship with a businessman who had pleaded guilty to fraud charges; Latimer's campaign called for Astorino's resignation based on the allegations.[15][16]

Latimer won by 13 points despite being outspent over 3-to-1 by Astorino's campaign.[17][1]

Electoral results[edit]

New York 37th Senatorial District, 2012 general election[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George S. Latimer 61,010 51.3
Working Families George S. Latimer 3,226 2.7
Republican Bob Cohen 48,125 40.5
Conservative (N.Y.) Bob Cohen 4,522 3.8
Independence Bob Cohen 1,927 1.6
Write-ins Write-in 40 negligible
Total votes 118,850 100
New York 37th Senatorial District, 2014 general election[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George S. Latimer 34,850 47.7
Working Families George S. Latimer 3,242 4.4
Republican Joseph L. Dillon 29,151 39.9
Conservative (N.Y.) Joseph L. Dillon 4,572 6.2
Independence Joseph L. Dillon 1,190 1.6
Write-ins Write-in 28 negligible
Total votes 73,033 100
New York 37th Senatorial District, 2016 general election[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George S. Latimer 69,420 52.8
Working Families George S. Latimer 2,815 2.1
Women's Equality George S. Latimer 881 0.7
Republican Julie Killian 50,713 38.6
Conservative (N.Y.) Julie Killian 5,216 4.0
Independence Julie Killian 1,809 1.4
Reform Julie Killian 426 0.3
Write-ins Write-in 119 negligible
Total votes 131,399 100
Westchester County Executive, 2017 general election[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George S. Latimer 109,846 53
Working Families George S. Latimer 3,774 2
Independence George S. Latimer 2,048 1
Women's Equality George S. Latimer 887 0
Reform George S. Latimer 212 0
Republican Rob Astorino 77,819 38
Conservative (N.Y.) Rob Astorino 11,644 6
Total votes 206,230 100

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "George Latimer wins Westchester County executive race". lohud.com. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  2. ^ "State Sen. Latimer's Rye house in foreclosure". LoHud. 2014-12-20. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  3. ^ "The Hottest Race for the NY State Senate: George Latimer vs. Bob Cohen". Huffington Post. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
  4. ^ "Latimer, Killian face off in heated Senate race". lohud.com. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  5. ^ Westchester County Board of Elections. "2016 General Election Canvass Book" (PDF). Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  6. ^ Lungariello, Mark (August 7, 2017). "Latimer endorsed by party Astorino started". lohud.com.
  7. ^ "Rye home owned by Democratic candidate's wife has $46,000 in unpaid taxes". lohud.com. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  8. ^ "Astorino lashes out about Democratic opponent's unpaid taxes". Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Rob Astorino knocked off in Westchester County Executive race". nypost.com. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  10. ^ a b "State senator's skipped budget votes come back to haunt him". nypost.com. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  11. ^ "State senator says rival's attack on skipped votes is a 'distraction'". nypost.com. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  12. ^ "Rob Astorino knocked off in Westchester County Executive race". nypost.com. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  13. ^ "Latimer on the defensive after allegations over missed budget vote". fios1news.com. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  14. ^ Lungariello, Mark (2017-10-30). "Astorino says Latimer should step down from education post". LoHud.com. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  15. ^ "After Rob Astorino donor testimony, George Latimer camp calls for resignation". lohud.com. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  16. ^ "Rolex at center of call for Astorino to resign". Politico PRO. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  17. ^ "Astorino outspends Latimer as campaign winds down". lohud.com. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  18. ^ 2012 General Election Canvass Book, Westchester County, p. 292.
  19. ^ 2014 General Election Canvass Book, Westchester County, p. 494.
  20. ^ 2016 General Election Canvass Book, Westchester County, p. 263.
  21. ^ Westchester County Elections 2017: Unofficial Tally of Election Results

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Ronald Tocci
New York State Assembly, 91st District
2005–2012
Succeeded by
Steven Otis
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Suzi Oppenheimer
New York State Senate, 37th District
2013–2017
Succeeded by
Shelley Mayer
Political offices
Preceded by
Rob Astorino
Executive of Westchester County
2018–present
Incumbent