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Ex-TV Reporter In Westchester Is First Transgender Candidate

L to R; Gail Merkels, Kristen Browde, Ivy Pool
L to R; Gail Merkels, Kristen Browde, Ivy Pool Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW CASTLE, N.Y. -- The New Castle Democrats slate of candidates for the 2017 municipal elections will be making history.

Kristen Browde, a transgender woman, will be running for Town Supervisor while Ivy Pool and Gail Markels are running for town board. The Democrats will introduce their slate in front of New Castle Town Hall in Chappaqua on Wednesday.

Browde is a former television reporter and an attorney who previously served as secretary for the New Castle Board of Ethics. Browde is the first transgender candidate in New York to run with the nomination of a major party, according to the New Castle Democrats.

She previously was an anchor and correspondent at CBS, WNBC and WNYW and helped found the Transgender Bar Association. Browde has lived in New Castle since 2004.

“My vision for New Castle is one of renewal, of transparent, honest government and responsible management of residents’ tax dollars,” said Browde. “I’m also fully committed to the idea of rebuilding the Democratic Party from the local level up to White Plains and Washington DC.”

Pool is a business owner and management consultant, advising non-profits and government agencies on improving outcomes for underserved populations. Pool has lived in New Castle since 2010.

“As a lifelong public servant, I understand how to successfully design and lead large-scale, public-sector projects,” Pool said. "I feel a strong responsibility to step up and do my part to improve the services in our hometown, and to drive open, inclusive, and transparent governance in New Castle.”

Markels is president of Markels Strategies, a company providing legal, trade association management and government affairs services to industry trade associations and businesses. Markels has lived in New Castle for more than 25 years and is co-chair of the Civic Improvement Committee of the Chappaqua Garden Club.

“I am running for office because I want New Castle to be the kind of community that our children move back to raise their own families,” Markels said. “This means working to a ensure that New Castle continues to have great schools, an open and transparent town government, an inclusive community and a vibrant downtown."

Both Markels and Pool said they were motivated to run by Donald Trump defeating Chappaqua and New Castle's own Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. All three candidates actively supported Clinton and her campaign.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also a New Castle resident.

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