WESTFIELD -The current Mayor of the Village of Westfield, Republican Dave Carr, will defend his incumbency against the challenge of Democrat Mike VandeVelde in the weeks leading up to the village election on Tuesday, March 19 when voters will decide who will be their mayor for the next two years.
The election will also determine the makeup of the Village of Westfield Board of Trustees for the same period as two seats will be up for contention, and unless Democrats find another board candidate, they will continue their present minority status.
Seventeen registered Republican voters met on the frigid evening of Tuesday, Jan. 22 at Eason Hall and unanimously backed two incumbents, one newcomer and chose not to contest the Village of Westfield justice office.
Photo by Dave O’Connor
The Democrat nominees for the upcoming Village of Westfield elections on Tuesday, March 19 are incumbent Jeff Thomas for village justice, left, incumbent Rob Cochran for village board member, second from right and mayoral candidate Mike VandeVelde, right. Ron Catalano, Jr., second from left, was nominated for the village board, but later decided not to run. The Democrats met at Eason Hall on Wednesday evening, Jan. 23 to nominate their candidates.
The incumbents, Mayor Carr and village board member Chris Jaynes, will be joined on the Republican line by Tom Rackowski. The failure to name a candidate for village justice virtually insures Democrat incumbent Jeff Thomas another two-year term.
Democrats from the village, also 17 in number, disregarded the cold as well and met in the same venue the following evening, Jan. 23.
Besides VandeVelde, they unanimously selected incumbents Rob Cochran for the village board and Jeff Thomas for village justice. Also named as a board candidate was Ron Catalano, Jr., but the local party chairman, former Village of Westfield Mayor Ron Catalano, Sr., announced the following day that the younger Catalano had decided against running.
If another candidate is not found, it will insure a Republican majority on the village board of at least three to one no matter the outcome of the mayoral contest.
Carr's acknowledgement of his nomination was succinct.
"I'm really looking forward to another two years," he said.
Former Village of Westfield Mayor Bill Crist nominated Carr and praised his tenure.
"He's done a great job in the village," Crist said. "I think things are going well."
VandeVelde made no public comment after accepting the nomination. Reached after the nomination meeting, he expressed the view that Westfield is admired by its neighboring communities, and the challenge is to make necessary changes while preserving the many good things.
"I will look at our resources, examine new ideas and face up to challenges," he said.
Both parties also unanimously named chairpersons for the coming year, Joan Lemke for the Republicans and Ron Catalano, Sr., for the Democrats.