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Jenkins to Run for County Exec; Says It's Time for New Start

Ken Jenkins, chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, has announced his candidacy for Westchester County Executive in 2013.

Citing the need for a new start and stronger leadership, Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins has announced that he will run for Westchester County Executive in 2013.

A member of the Westchester Board of Legislators since 2007, Jenkins (D-Yonkers) joins New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and White Plains legislator Bill Ryan in what is now a three-man race for the Democratic nomination. Incumbent County Executive Robert Astorino (R) is expected to announce his bid for another term later this year.

"As we start a new year together, our thoughts turn to what the year will bring. It's an opportunity for a new start, for new beginnings - a time to take stock of where we've been, where we stand, and how much needs to be done," Jenkins said to a crowd of supporters at the Crowne Plaza Wednesday in White Plains.

As chairman of the Board of Legislators, Jenkins has sparred with Astorino in the past, most recently with the adoption of the 2013 Westchester County Budget. While announcing his candidacy Wednesday Jenkins emphasized that reckless job and spending cuts are not the ways to get the county out of its recent economic slump. He vowed to restore funding to county programs he called vital and to find creative solutions to the problems the county must face.

"Your property taxes have continued to rise, your fees for county services have gone up, while your quality of life has gone down," Jenkins said. "Our county government is not doing more with less; it is doing less with less and shifting the burden to you in other ways."

Since winning the county executive seat in 2009, Astorino has fought to minimize tax rate increases and cut spending. Jenkins, meanwhile, has led the push from BOL Democrats to fight some of those cuts. The most recent budget debate featured key spending differences between the candidates, specifically childcare costs and funding for several county programs.

"The sky is not falling," Jenkins said. "There is no need to allow our roads and bridges to deteriorate; to reduce funding for parks and recreation and to stop caring for the poor and disabled."

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano (D), 89th District Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D), 90th District Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer (D) and 35th District State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins spoke on Jenkins behalf during the announcement.

"He always knew, as my colleagues have said, when to stand strong, when to pick the battle, when to back up, when to compromise, but you always knew you were going to have an intelligent, pragmatic, frank, honest, intellectual understanding of what the issues are, and at the root of all those issues were the good of the people of Westchester County," Stewart-Cousins said. 

jo January 02, 2013 at 07:30 PM
dump the dems all of them.. we saw what Spano did.. please no more Dems.. Westchester is taxed enough..no more tax and spend Dems
Ross Revira January 02, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Ken Jenkins, the emperor with no clothes. Rob Astorino's perfect opponent but he cannot be complacent because there are many of Jenkins constituents with their hand out.
KC Choi January 02, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Isn't this the same person that walked out on the budget meeting last month? Guess he wanted to keep his hands clean off the budget. Course, he could have done that by just voting against it.
Bob Zahm January 02, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Jo and Ross - you can do better than that in terms of comments. I think if you stick to the Circus Theme introduced by Jenkins himself last December, you'll come up with some entertaining posts. After all, Jenkins has been running a circus for many years, it just happens to be called the Westchester County Legislature. So lets get to some serious clowing around.
joshua tanner January 02, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Dems are all about giveaways and kinksters. They break everything they touch. That's why I stopped being one.
Tom Murphy January 02, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Hey Ross how about you leave your thinly vieled racist comment out of the political discourse. I don't think Ken is a bad guy I think he is just not the right guy for this job. Astorino is a one trick pony. Cut,cut, cut without knowing or caring how government works or how it effects peoples lives. It's time to find a candidate who can govern effectively, efficiently and economically, Astorino isn't that guy. His administration is all about budget cutting and PR announcements. Nothing else matters. He has hired Republican mudslinger Bill O'Reilly (no not that idiot, the other idiot O'Reilly) who is fresh off running perhaps the nastiness campaign in Westchester history for Bob Cohen against George Latimer. Brace yourself for a brutal, mudslinging off year election where Astorino's true unkind, power hungry nature becomes apparent. You heard it here first.
John Carney January 03, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Astorino is a breath of fresh air. He is acutely aware of the tax rate in Westchester County, one of the highest in the USA, if not the highest. Accordingly, he is working dilgently to provide services at reasonable costs without pandering to every special interest group, who only concern is to feder their own nest, taxpayers be damed. Jenkins on the other hand truly believes Government has all the answers, can address all the needs of society better than anyone else, thus he has little if any concern over the cost of such services and burden it puts on taxpayers, Additionally, he can't even keep his own ship under control, witness the stunt in "turning of the lights" at the last County Legislative meeting because he did not get his way. Like the kid in the school yard who takes his ball home because he can't play. Jenkins is the wrong guy for Westchester leadership, he is simply out of touch with taxpayers.
Bob Zahm January 03, 2013 at 05:06 AM
Jo and Ross - you can do better than that in terms of comments. I think if you stick to the Circus Theme introduced by Jenkins himself last December, you'll come up with some entertaining posts. After all, Jenkins has been running a circus for many years, it just happens to be called the Westchester County Legislature. So lets get to some serious clowning around.
sayitsnotsojack January 03, 2013 at 09:23 AM
When you look closely at Jenkins he looks so much like Andy the guy Spano! Has anyone given both of them a DNA test? Like father like son, and we all had better watch out.
david ruzow January 03, 2013 at 12:01 PM
As a life long democrat I think Astorino is doing a great job, and a return to tax and spend things we can't afford is not the way to go.
James Adnaraf January 03, 2013 at 01:29 PM
Jenkins is a classic "throw money at a problem" type. He should never go anywhere near a position like County Executive.
jo January 03, 2013 at 02:05 PM
the truth is the truth.. tax and spend is the Dem Mantra.. stop being the Posting police.. we saw how Andy Spano made this one of the highest taxed counties in the nation.. lots of our kids cannot afford to live here.. BTW Andy Spano came running to my union for their support and once elected he had the nerve to slap us in the face by using non union workers at the County Building.. glad you think the circus, as you called it.. is worth laughing at.. but many of us are not laughing
Aidan January 03, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Jenkins? A race to the very bottom.
Harry One January 03, 2013 at 03:52 PM
We will turn this county into a place where only the rich the poor and undeclared can live . We will tax the hell out anyone who works welfare will be the largest employer comming soon THE NEW GREECE.
joe January 03, 2013 at 06:36 PM
We better keep our mouths shut. Somebody called us racist.
Billy January 03, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Hey tom, we're the highest taxed county in the nation because of guys like Ken Jenkins. None of us get much from county government so who cares besides you?
Billy January 03, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Then you definately don't want Noam Bramson running the show, he's the king of tax & spend what New Rochelle doesn't have.
Ross Revira January 03, 2013 at 11:27 PM
I have read your comments and you are nobody to cast a critical eye on comments.
Ross Revira January 04, 2013 at 01:38 AM
@Tom Murphy what is racist with "constituents with their hand out"? Is the CSEA and the Westchester County Police Benevolent Association minority organizations or just a plain unions? They are two of his biggest supporters and have their hand out. Has not Jenkins fought and with County Executive Rob Astorino at every turn to contain spending. How many times has he gone to court to continue his vision of Westchester as a "welfare state". You are just like all the other lame brain liberals who use the racist adjective against people you don't agree with and have nothing to refute the plain facts. If you are looking for the race aspect you have to look no further than Jenkins himself. While formally announcing his candidacy he felt it necessary to mention he was the first African American to run for County Executive. Anybody that is not blind can see the color of his skin so why did he mention it?
Dan Seidel January 04, 2013 at 02:12 PM
MY vote is for Bill Ryan. I am a realist and think Bill IS the smartest kid on the block, has the most experience, knows the players statewide and countrywide, has made connections that count for Westchester, has a keen understanding of what a County government can and is supposed to do, is effective and knows how to get a bipartisan deal accomplished. He is involved in infrastructure control and upgrade, flood mitigation, land preservation and support for parks. He LOVES the job and he CAN DO THE JOB!!!!! What has Ken done? I've never heard anything. As for Astorino? he never renewed my Soil and Water Board appointment (was serving since 2003). He played politics - I'm a Dem. He's also into cutting parks and environmental programs - NOT good for our future - if anyone wants to argue nitty gritty, dollars and sense about these "green" projects (NOT the MObama fake green projects which only line the pockets of his money bundler crony corrupt friends and relatives), I'd be happy to sit down over coffee - give me 2 hours to show you a whole new world of grass roots efforts that you probably never heard of or about - you'll be astounded at what we do under the radar -CREATES JOBS!!!!! SALES TAX!!!!!! wow. you'll probably get a pellet stove... As for Noam: nice guy, but has time to gain skills and knowledge. Not his time yet. So: BILL RYAN FOR COUNTY EXEC!!!
Harry One January 04, 2013 at 05:08 PM
These clowns are jokers there is a end to to money lets tell Ken to move to Greece Spain or Ireland they are allready broke.
Dan Seidel January 05, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Ross has a valid point - who cares what color skin Ken has - I was raised in a color blind household - the politics were and still are the best person for the job. Ken is NOT the best person for the job. I think Ken is a nice guy, like Noam, and would even go shooting at the range with him (once he gets a dot from Lohud). Ken as County Exec-no. he's a very unaware guy - superficial, no depth of understanding of issues. JMHO.
Harry One January 07, 2013 at 02:12 PM
spend spend spend
Vincent Grolli January 26, 2013 at 04:20 AM
Rob Astorino is the best County Executive Westchester has ever seen. Bill Ryan, Ken Jenkins, and Andy Spano think Westchester voters are a bunch of dummies. Under Spano as County Executive, Bill Ryan as Board Chairman, Westchester became the highest taxed county in the land. Rob Astorino won the election with an overwhemly majority and will win again easily, especiaaly if Ryan and Jenkins try to run on their record.
joe March 07, 2013 at 08:45 PM
So Happy to find out today that Jenkins got 2% of the vote. Maybe that will shut him up for awhile.
David March 22, 2013 at 03:09 PM
I'm all for well informed, connected, effective guys running things in our county. So you've said some great things about Ryan. But where would he be on taxes? Would he continue the examinations of spending and keep it to a minimum? Would he provide as much relief for property taxpayers as Rob Astorino does? There are a lot of ways we'd like to spend money, but without a strong and consistent focus on cost control, I believe our property taxes would get even higher. I might vote for Ryan if he can put my mind at ease in this regard. In the meantime I know that Astorino is doing a good job there, and so Astorino has my support.

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