Republicans scored a huge victory in yesterday’s nation-wide elections, capturing more than sixty seats in the House — the largest shift in more than sixty years. While the will of the people must always be respected, I can’t conceal my concern. Many of the newly elected representatives and senators have expressed views on the extreme right fringe of American politics — more akin to the John Birch Society than to Ronald Reagan — and they will now exercise unprecedented influence over national policy. I hope that the responsibilities that come with public office and the interplay between the Congress and the President will have a moderating effect, and that the conclusion of this election season will permit a renewed focus on the common good. Time will tell.

Locally, the picture was quite different, with Democrats more than holding their own. Congresswoman Nita Lowey, State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Assemblyman George Latimer were all re-elected by wide margins. Of New Rochelle’s four State legislators, only Suzi Oppenheimer is locked in a tight contest, with the outcome of her race against Republican Bob Cohen still unsettled. Interestingly, it is possible that this election will determine control of the entire New York State Senate.

Finally, I extend sincere congratulations to Susan Kettner and Jared Rice, who prevailed in their local contests for New Rochelle City Judge and for the New Rochelle City Council. Both Susan and Jared campaigned with exceptional energy and determination, and prevailed by substantial margins. I was proud to support both, and have every confidence that Susan will prove an able jurist and Jared an effective partner on the City Council.