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County's District 5 Voters Give Ryan Eighth Term

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Incumbent Democrat William J. Ryan of White Plains won an eighth term as Westchester County District 5 Legislator Tuesday, reeling in an unofficial 60 percent of the vote to Republican challenger Iris Pagan's 40 percent, according to unofficial board of elections results.

District 5 is comprised of Scarsdale and parts of Harrison and White Plains.

"We've swept across the board, look at that. Give it up," Ryan said. "I'm very, very happy with the result and I think that one of things it reflects is what I tried to lay out as to the importance of the county government for the people of Westchester."

Ryan said he thought the public responded to his campaign message about shifting unfunded mandates back to the state.

"I think it was a new discussion for them and I think they're encouraged that there may be things that can be done to reduce property taxes," he said. "The results show people are encouraged by that because that's something they want to see done."

Pagan said she understood going in that winning would be tough.

"I was the new person on the block," she said. "For me, if I would have won, it would have been a real surprise."

She said her role model is Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, who she said ran three or four times before gaining the county executive position, and indicated she would be back.

Pagan, 57, a career educator who has been active for several years in Republican party politics, said before the election the biggest issue is keeping down property taxes. “We need to look directly at how seniors and young people are being affected. You have a generation of people who worked hard for young people and now they cannot enjoy the fruits of their labor,” she said. “We need to streamline government structures and look into how we do things. We need to analyze procedures that may add to the tax burden.”

Ryan, 61, is a former state assembly member and chair of the Westchester Board of Legislators, was a banker before entering politics. In addition to job creation, reducing property taxes was Ryan’s prime campaign focus. “In Albany, I’ve targeted the elimination of unfunded state mandates,” he said. “These are a tremendous burden on local property taxpayers.”

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