Republican incumbents John Murphy and Paul Whalen won two key primaries with an impact on Orangetown Tuesday.
Murphy comfortably defeated Andrew Wiley in the race for District 16 in the Rockland County Legislature, taking 377 votes (59 percent) to Wiley's 258 (40.4 percent). Murphy had strong words for his opponent once the results were in.
"I am disgusted by the dirty tactics that somebody who calls himself a Republican would use," Murphy said. "I am disgusted that they have so little respect for our wounded veterans. He said I ws bringing homeless people in. I’m building housing for displaced and disabled veterans. But he didn’t say that. He said I was bringing in homeless. That brought in a wave of panic and fear. He lied. It’s veteran’s housing."
Whalen won by an even larger margin in the Republican Primary against challenger Allan Ryff for Orangetown Supervisor. Whalen took 71.5 percent of the vote (944 total) to Ryff's 28 percent (372) after a race that was very contentious, with strong accusations made by both sides.
Once the result became clear, Whalen said that the primary the primary was an unnecessary waste of time.
Robert Dell and Elijah Reichlin-Melnick won in the Democratic Party Primary for the two open seats on the Orangetown Town Council, defeating Orangetown Police Sgt. Gerald Bottari, Sr.
"It's great," Rechlin-Melnick said. "I'm very excited. I was getting nervous to the middle and the end there. Because of the complication of everybody getting two votes, it's very hard to figure out from the percentage remaining how many votes you are talking about.
"I worked hard during the campaign. I tried to meet as many people as I could and spoke to wonderful people in Pearl River, Blauvelt and Tappan....all over. I think it may have paid off tonight."
Bottari pulled close on the second-to-last update from the Rockland County Board of Elections, but finished with 1,075 votes (28.6 percent). Dell had 1,317 votes (36.2 percent) and Rechlin-Melnick finished with 1,227 (33.75 percent).
"It was very rewarding," Reichlin-Melnick said. "I have to give credit to Bob and Gerry for running good and clean campaigns. There has been so much negative energy in ther primaries with Sherrif, Family Court and Mayor. This one stood apart. There were no negative attacks from any of us. We kept the focus on us as individuals. We made people realize it’s about Orangetown."