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Abinanti Readying for Rematch with Shimsky for Assembly Seat

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March 29, 2024

By Rick Pezzullo—

Former State Assemblyman Tom Abinanti is laying the groundwork for a Democratic primary rematch against incumbent MaryJane Shimsky in the 92nd Assembly District.

Abinanti, 77, who was ousted by Shimsky in 2022 after representing the district for 12 years, and his supporters are currently gathering signatures to force a June 25 showdown, and Abinanti is confident of being on the ballot.

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Abinanti, the Democratic Committee Chairman in the Town of Mount Pleasant, said the dominating issue that has motivated him to try to make a comeback is Shimsky’s support of state legislation that could pave the way for the hamlet of Edgemont to become the Town of Greenburgh’s seventh incorporated village.

Shimsky, 64, was the co-sponsor of two bills in 2023 that modernized the process for village incorporation in New York State. Among other things, the law, which was signed by Governor Hochul last December, required an in-depth study of the viability of a municipality, such as Edgemont, incorporating, and mandated the creation of a state commission to review it.

However, following the recent presentation from a firm hired by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins at Greenburgh Town Hall that raised many financial uncertainties about Edgemont incorporating and the subsequent impact on Greenburgh, Shimsky released a statement on March 25 opposing Edgemont becoming a new village.

“I have spoken with many in the 92nd Assembly District about the issue and have found overwhelming consensus from them that this is a bad idea for our community,” said Shimsky, whose district covers all of Greenburgh, except for Edgemont.

Shimsky said she voted against a chapter amendment introduced by Stewart Cousins, who has represented Greenburgh and Edgemont since 2007, that provided a 16-year exemption for the two municipalities.

“Former Assemblyman Abinanti failed to pass any legislation on village incorporation during his 12 years in office, and yet has chosen to misrepresent my record for his own political gain,” she stated. “But, the fact remains that I never supported an exemption for Edgemont from the new laws, and I never sponsored legislation to that effect. Rather, I have spoken out and voted against a carve-out for Edgemont, and I have worked to make Greenburgh’s voice heard in Albany.”

Abinanti, who said if he were still in Albany he would have voted to block the bill, insisted the record is clear on the legislation Shimsky sponsored and supported on June 10, 2023.

“Clearly panicking, she denies her support of Edgemont’s incorporation and falsely accuses community members of ‘lying’ about her record,” Abinanti said. “Greenburgh residents rightfully feel betrayed by Assembly member MaryJane Shimsky. Her most recent actions reflect her feeling of vulnerability but, regretfully, not her remorse.”

The Edgemont Incorporation Committee (EIC), a small group of residents that has been lobbying for Edgemont to become a village for seven years, submitted petitions in 2017 and 2019 that were defeated in court by Greenburgh but has not filed any new petitions.

 

“This Shimsky-sponsored law paves the way for Edgemont’s third attempt at incorporation. It exempts Edgemont from mandated state commission review and, most importantly, final approval,” said Abinanti, a former Greenburgh town councilman. “It exempts Edgemont from the requirement that a proposed village have no serious detrimental impact on the fiscal condition, services, and taxation of residents in the rest of the town. Ms. Shimsky’s direct actions have placed the entire Unincorporated Town of Greenburgh in great jeopardy.”

Abinanti attributed his 900-vote loss to Shimsky two years ago on a low voter turnout and his decision not to counter Shimsky on issues.

“Basically, I ran on my record. I didn’t push back,” he said. “Greenburgh deserves to have an advocate that understands. If Edgemont leaves, this could destroy Greenburgh.”

Among Abinanti’s supporters is Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner, who fears Edgemont incorporating would result in a reduction of town services and an increase in property taxes.

Petitions to qualify for the primary are due the first week of April. Abinanti will make an official announcement after his petition signatures are verified.

 

 

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