(PHOTO: The stinky communication.)
(Updated Thursday afternoon with comments from Rye Mayor Josh Cohn. Updated further 3-5-2021.)
When we introduced our readers to the heads of the local Rye Democrats and GOP organizing committees this week, we said the election was starting in earnest with the push to collect signatures to place the various candidates on the primary ballot for June.
It also looks like the gloves are coming off early in the Democratic primary between incumbent Rye Mayor Josh Cohn and his challenger Danielle Tagger-Epstein. In an email released to supporters, the Tagger-Epstein campaign shared a communication from former Rye City Democratic Committee head Meg Cameron with the suggestion to see if the Rye PBA (police benevolent league – the police union) will “make a stink about Danielle”.
Cameron, who ran a close but unsuccessful race against Steve Otis last year in the Democratic primary for the NY State Assembly race, sent the communication to Mayor Josh Cohn, Councilman Ben Stacks and District Leader from election district 5 and former Councilwoman Emily Hurd. Cameron also managed to send it in error to Tagger-Epstein. Reached for comment Thursday night, Cameron confirmed the communication, but did not explain what the “stink” may have been regarding, saying only “First, Mayor Cohn has absolutely nothing to do with this. Second, I chose my words poorly.”
Tagger-Epstein told MyRye.com that Cohn’s campaign is incorrectly calling him the “nominee” with the intention to obfuscate that the two are running against one another in the Democratic primary. Cohn is the Rye City Democratic Committee’s nominee, selected by vote of the 28 district leaders, but says Tagger-Epstein “he got the slim majority” indicating a division in the party machinery*. Candidates are only required to collect 65 signatures from the 4,000 registered Democrats in Rye, almost assuring the Cohn vs. Tagger-Epstein race will reliably continue at least through the primary in June.
Mayor Josh Cohn was contacted by MyRye.com who said he aware unaware of these efforts. “I was not aware of Meg Cameron’s effort,” Cohn told MyRye.com. “My campaign is about continuing the good work I have done over the past three years of pandemic, power-outages, etc. The City is financially sound, well-run, responsive to resident concerns and moving on long-term goals. That is the real story.”
*Sources tell MyRye.com the 28 district leader votes were cast 14 to Cohn, 10 to Tagger-Epstein and 4 abstentions.