The results are in, and though they're not final, they are not expected to change significantly.
Sherry Howard and Louie Luongo will fill the two open seats on the town board for the next four years. Incumbent Shawn Keeler beat Mark Pawera in the race for highway superintendent. Bill Gouldman will be Putnam Valley's primary representative on the county legislature for another three-year term. As for the two uncontested positions, Jacqueline Annabi remains the town's supervisor and Kimberly McKeown will be the new town clerk.
This year's results reflect widespread acceptance of the status quo as well as the value of incumbency. Although Patty Villanova ran an aggressive campaign attacking current and former board members and promising to inject real change into town politics, she fell short in this, her fourth, try. Still, with 1,155 votes, this was her best showing yet, suggesting her message was resonating. (The last time she ran, in 2019, she received just 349 votes.)
Meanwhile, Brooke Anderson, a relative newcomer to Putnam Valley and the local political scene, was not able to overcome her lack of name recognition and the Democratic Party's decision not to endorse her. She received 1,063 votes, while 1,622 votes went to Howard, who was endorsed by the Democratic Party, and 1,518 went to Republican Luongo, an incumbent. The total tallies for Luongo and Howard were bolstered by votes they received from also running on the Conservative Party line.
As for the race for highway superintendent, Keeler's margin of victory grew considerably compared to his last go-round with opponent Pawera. Keeler won with 1,877 votes, including 528 from the Conservative Party line. Pawera received 913. (In this year's race, the Conservatives switched their support to Keeler from Pawera.) In 2021, Keeler won by just 41 votes.
Republican Gouldman scored a victory over his Democratic opponent, Maggie Ploener. He garnered 1,390 votes compared to her 1,059. A massage therapist and artist, Ploener was helped by an energetic group of progressive Democrats, as well as an endorsement from a regional unit of the AFL-CIO. However, her lack of previous political experience made it hard to beat a veteran legislator.
This year, even though some of our town races were bitterly contested, voter turnout appears to be lower than in the last "off-cycle" year (when national elections aren't also taking place). In 2021, 3,205 of the town's registered voters went to the polls; this year, as of now, only 2,867 did.
For more details about the election results from the Putnam County Board of Elections, click here.