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Government & Politics

Imamura Nominated to Fill Shimsky’s Legislature Seat

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January 11, 2023

By Barrett Seaman—

District leaders and Democratic party activists gathered Tuesday evening in Hastings’ James Harmon Community Center, where they unanimously nominated Irvington’s David Imamura as their candidate for Westchester County’s 12th Legislative District seat.

The seat has been held by MaryJane Shimsky, who in November won Tom Abinanti’s seat in the New York State Assembly, representing the 92nd District.

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There were no other candidates for the seat. Hastings resident Ellen Hendrickx, a former aide to Shimsky currently serving on the Greenburgh Town Board, nominated Imamura. Scarsdale District Leader Dan Weinfeld seconded the nomination before a unanimous voice vote was taken.

The candidate was not present because his wife had tested positive for COVID that morning. Unwilling to risk spreading the virus, Imamura stayed home with son Leo, addressing the meeting over a large screen via Zoom. “It is a tremendous honor to be selected as the Democratic nominee for the 12th Legislative District,” he told the gathering. “I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to potentially become the first Asian American County Legislator in history and to represent the area where I grew up and chose to raise my own family.”

An attorney with degrees from Dartmouth College and Columbia Law School, Imamura first gained prominence when he crafted legislation in Irvington that barred the village from handing over undocumented immigrants to federal agents. The language was eventually adopted by Westchester County. He was later named as co-chair of the state’s non-partisan redistricting committee, which exposed him to the full force of New York’s partisan divide. The committee’s work was ultimately rejected by the legislature in Albany, leading to an eventual redistricting plan formulated by a court-appointed special master.

The 12th Legislative District includes the Villages of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington and parts of unincorporated Greenburgh, including Edgemont and Hartsdale. To date, no Republican candidate has emerged.

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