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Politics

Top Stories 2012: Bedford Elects Menken To Town Justice

In a special election, attorney David Menken won the seat of Bedford town justice, which was vacated by Kevin Quaranta, who died unexpectedly in July.
In a special election, attorney David Menken won the seat of Bedford town justice, which was vacated by Kevin Quaranta, who died unexpectedly in July. Photo Credit: Bedford Democratic Committee

BEDFORD, N.Y. ? As 2012 draws to a close, The Bedford Daily Voice is recapping some of the biggest stories of the past year.

In Bedford, this year's election on Nov. 6 was unique in two ways: It was the first under New York state's newly redrawn congressional district map, which received federal approval in March. And second, at one point, it was in danger of being postponed in Westchester County because of widespread power outages and damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Attorney David Menken won the special election for Bedford town justice, defeating fellow Democrat Todd Gabor.

Town Justice Kevin Quaranta, who had served in the position since 2004, died in July at age 56, so the Town Board appointed former Bedford Supervisor John R. Dinin to serve in Quaranta’s place until the end of the year. Menken will take over on Tuesday, Jan. 1, to begin serving a full four-year term.

In September, the town lost a lawsuit it had filed against the Westchester Board of Elections in a bid to set the new justice's term as the remainder of Quaranta’s unexpired, three-year term, rather than a full four-year term.

On Nov. 6, Bedford voters also decided in a referendum to maintain the town's open space tax.

In the presidential election, President Barack Obama defeated Republican candidate Mitt Romney to retain the office, while in the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from Hudson in Columbia County, won against Republican Wendy Long, a Manhattan attorney.

In Bedford, which is in the newly redrawn 18th Congressional District, voters chose Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney of Cold Spring, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, over incumbent Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth of Bedford, who formerly represented the 19th District.

The newly redrawn 18th Congressional District includes Orange, Putnam and parts of Dutchess County; as well as the Westchester towns of Bedford, Lewisboro, North Salem, Somers, Pound Ridge and North Castle. These new district lines take effect in January, when the representatives elected in November take office.

Bedford voters also chose Democrat George Latimer of Rye over Republican Bob Cohen of New Rochelle on Nov. 6 to represent the redrawn 37th State Senate District. Bedford had been represented by Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson), until the town was removed from the 40th Senate District in the new district map.

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