The Rockland County Democratic Committee has called a rally
for tonight to unify behind the unofficial county executive primary winner
David Fried. His opponent Ilan Schoenberger has conceded the race.
“I am endorsing David,” said Schoenberger this morning. “I am supporting David.”
On primary night, Schoenberger, who received 5,896 votes to Fried’s 7,164 votes, said he would wait for the count of absentee ballots and official results of the primary before making any statement. He said if Fried were declared the official winner at that time, he would support him. Schoenberger said he considered the situation over the past few days and decided at the end of last week to concede.
Schoenberger said he and Fried were meeting this afternoon and he has had conversations about the situation with County Democratic Committee Chair Kristen Stavisky.
“I have reason to believe the numbers are reasonably accurate,” said Schoenberger, adding that he did not think the outcome would change after the count of the absentee ballots and determination of the final results.
Absentee ballots will be counted Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. On Thursday, Democratic Elections Commissioner Stavisky expected the absentee ballots would produce results similar to the votes already cast.
“Generally absentee ballots go the way of the machine vote,” she said.
The Unity Event announced by the party’s executive committee and Democratic elected officials begins at 8 p.m. at Democratic headquarters in New City.
Schoenberger had received the Working Families and Independence party lines for county executive and has spoken with the leadership of those parties about ways to get his name off the ballot. He said they are considering nominating him for a Supreme Court judge position in Kings or Queens County, which he would accept but not actively run for. He has two years left as a county legislator and said he plans to serve the remainder of his term.
If he accepts the nomination for another race, Schoenberger said his name cannot be listed on the Rockland ballot for county executive enabling the parties’ vacancies committees to appoint another candidate. Schoenberger said his intention is to get off the ballot for county executive. The vacancies committee would have the option of nominating Fried to replace Schoenberger as the Working Families and Independence parties’ county executive candidate.
Fried is running against Republican Ed Day, who is also the candidate of the Preserve Rockland Party. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.