2019 Local Elections: The 2020 Precursor

In New York, the 2019 elections will be all about abortion — the issue that anti-choice extremists are hoping will turn out their voters, particularly in this odd-year local election, when no higher offices are on the ballot. They are targeting Town and County offices that they hope will enable them to set the table for their 2020 wins.

Northern Westchester and Putnam, with additional hot spots in Eastchester and Yonkers, are proving to be fertile ground for anti-choice fanatics – and the NYS Reproductive Health Act* (RHA), passed in January 2019, has provided their rallying cry.

Using Donald Trump’s words verbatim, they are presenting women and doctors as callous murderers, and the governor and newly elected pro-choice Senate majority in Albany as Satan and his underlings. They are intentionally and completely misleading and misrepresenting (lying) about the RHA.

These zealots succeeded in getting resolutions passed by the Putnam County Legislature and the Carmel Town Board that demand the overturning of the RHA. In Yorktown and Somers, they tried but failed.

Their immediate goal is to take back the Yorktown Town Board where, in 2017, a pro-choice supervisor was elected; to defeat the first pro-choice Democrat to win in Mt Pleasant in 30 years; and to put a raving anti-choice extremist in the County Legislative seat in District 4 being vacated by Mike Kaplowitz.

If they win these races, they will have a springboard from which to catapult into the 2020 elections.

Their larger strategic plan? To reintroduce the ultra-right Astorino agenda back into County government and take back local Town boards so that they can position themselves to defeat newly-elected NYS Senator Pete Harckham and other NYS pro-choice senators in 2020. Winning would give these fanatics the façade of legitimacy. They’re betting that there will be a huge Trump turnout in 2020 that can wipe out our 2018 Pro-Choice gains.

Much of what happens in 2020 will depend on who turns out to vote this year, in 2019.