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Bronxville Schools Three-Way Race Is First Contested Election in 10 Years

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – A contested election for a seat on the seven-member Bronxville school board will take place for the first time in a decade next month with a three-way run for the spot,  while an incumbent will be reelected to a second available spot, according to candidate filings for the positions that closed Monday.

Kurt Fuchs, William Rizzo and Jeffrey Rohr have all filed for the position being vacated by current Trustee Richard Rugani, who is stepping down after serving three three-year terms.  Incumbent Chris Atayan is running unopposed for a second-term to his post, which expires June 30.

Rohr and Atayan are on the ballot as candidates endorsed by the Committee for the Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees and were selected from a group of six candidates, said committee Chairperson Bob Galbraith.

Rizzo and Fuchs are running as Independents.

“We certainly welcome their participation in the process,” Galbraith said of the three-way race. “It’s positive. It shows the democratic process is working in Bronxville.”

School PTA President Nina Evison said the increased interest in the position reflects the community’s interest in its schools.

“What it reflects is that the people are deeply invested in the success of our schools,” Evison said. “Our community wants to do whatever it can to ensure that we have the best possible representation on the school board to achieve that.”

The village last witnessed a contested school board election in May 2002, when Independent Richard Dresdale won a 774 to 527 vote against committee-selected candidate Peter Stace, according to the school’s district clerk Connie Lourentzatos.

The committee has since 1936 been vetting individuals interested in running for the school board to avoid political-party influence during the election and on the school board, Galbraith said. Working as a community advisory panel, it only nominates one candidate per spot and incumbency does not guarantee the group’s endorsement, he added.

Residents will have two opportunities to hear the candidates’ platforms prior to the May 15 election.  The Non-Partisan Committee will introduce Atayan and Rohr at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22 at the Bronxville Public Library, Galbraith said.

There will be a debate at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 6 at the library, which will be moderated by a representative from the League of Women Voters, Evison said.

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