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Special Senate Election

All the information you need to know about this important election

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On April 24th, Rye residents will head to the polls to cast their vote in a special election to pick our next State Senator.

In January, former State Senator George Latimer vacated his Senate seat after being elected Westchester County Executive. This set off two party conventions to choose the candidates to run in this special election to fill Latimer’s seat.

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George Latimer being sworn in as County Executive (Credit:CBS)

The Democratic candidate in the race is Shelley Mayer, a State Assemblywoman from Yonkers. She has gained the support of state and local Democratic leaders and has touted her accomplishments on progressive issues such as guns and school funding. She has, however, faced criticism for her comments in support of disgraced former State Senate Speaker Sheldon Silver and actions she took while a lawyer for the state Democratic party.

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Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer speaking to constituents (Credit: NYSUT)

The Republican candidate in the race is former Rye Councilwoman Julie Killian. She served 6 years in the Rye City Council and held the role of Deputy Mayor. She has touted her work balancing Rye’s municipal budget and has portrayed herself as an outsider who will take on Albany. Criticism of her, though, is that she lacks political experience beyond her tenure in Rye.

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Former Councilwoman Julie Killian speaking to constituents (

The major issues in this race include gun policy, combating the opioid crisis, and policies to address the rampant culture of sexual harassment in Albany leading to the resignation of many sitting State Senators

This election will have larger ramifications in the balance of the New York State Senate. The Senate is currently held by Republicans with a one seat majority, and Democrats hope that, by winning this seat, they will have a better chance of turning the Senate blue this November.

This election is also an exciting opportunity for students at Rye who will get to vote for the first time. Senior Kaitlyn Rentala said, “I’ve been waiting to be able to vote for years and am so excited to vote in this special election! I’ve been following this election closely and had the opportunity to meet both Julie Killian and Shelley Mayer briefly. One of the biggest issues I’m concerned about is gun control, and the way each candidate leans will be a deciding factor for me. ” RHS students, many of whom participated in the walkout, are so concerned about gun issues that they are going to attend a meeting on gun control on April 9th, which will be attended by both candidates. Students will be able to ask them questions about their opinions on gun control to better understand the differences between the two candidates.

If you are a student who will be 18 by this election, you must register to vote at least 25 days before the election. You can find more information about how to register to vote at

Stay with The Garnet Mine for more information on this important race!

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Special Senate Election