NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. Jim Maisano is about to enter his eighth term as county legislator representing Pelham, Pelham Manor and New Rochelle. The Republican is running uncontested for his seat.
Maisano was born in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn but has been a New Rochelle resident since he was three years old. He decided to run again because he said he still enjoys the work.
The last time anyone challenged him for his seat was 2003. Maisano attributed this latest election to his ability to deal with both Republicans and Democrats.
I was lucky, Maisano said. I have definitely worked very well with both sides of the aisle, so that probably doesnt make me a target in elections.
Maisano added that a competitive election would be positive.
This is the political system that we live in and everyone should be challenged, even me, Maisano said.
Maisano first got into politics three years after he graduated from law school at the University of Buffalo. He ran for mayor of New Rochelle and lost, but said he met thousands of residents and called it one of the great experiences of my life.
Two years later, in 1997, Maisano ran for county legislator and won. He also ran for New York State Supreme Court Justice in 2010 but lost by 0.7 percent of the vote.
Maisano still lives with his family in New Rochelle and will enter his 15th and 16th years of office. He said he thinks he has proven that he is effective at working with both parties and that, at some point, elected officials must put party politics aside.
At the end of the day we have to govern, Maisano said. Thats why were sent to office. If youre going to govern, you have to work with both sides of the aisle.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.