Today, Drew Claxton, former Deputy Mayor of Peekskill, along with Ossining Deputy Mayor Rika Levin announced their support for Adam Schleifer for Congress in the primary for New York’s 17th Congressional District. 

“There are a lot of good, strong candidates running for this seat and I think any number of them would be good in Congress. That said, I have been impressed with the intensity Adam Schleifer brings to the issues, particularly on combating climate change and leading with science,” said Claxton. “His approach to politics, one that leads with collaboration and civility, would be refreshing in this political climate. I am proud to support him for Congress.”

Claxton, elected in 2001, was the first Democrat to hold elected office in Peekskill after 20 years of total GOP control of city government, dating back to George Pataki’s mayoralty in 1981. She then went on to serve 16 years on the common council, retiring as Deputy Mayor at the end of 2017. She now serves as the Chairperson of the Peekskill Democratic City Committee. She has been a champion of environmental justice issues for northern Westchester.

“We are fortunate to have a great number of highly qualified candidates in the race. I believe, however, that Adam Schleifer presents the best opportunity to have a fiercely independent member of Congress who puts the needs of this district before all else,” said Levin. “His legal background and experiences in New York, and on a national scale, will serve us well in Congress. I know he will aggressively deliver for diverse communities like Ossining and Peekskill. I’ve watched him participate in candidate panels and provide thoughtful and deeply considered policy answers, and I have watched him bring an energy to the table that will bring the change that we need in Washington. As a lifelong Democrat, I am proud to endorse him for Congress.” 

Levin has been an Ossining Village Trustee since 2015 and currently serves as Deputy Mayor. She immigrated to the United States when she was seven years old and she and her family have been active members in the Ossining community for more than 26 years. She has spent more than 25 years in management, new product development, diversity management and marketing and currently serves as the Managing Director at a nonprofit in Westchester. As a Trustee and Deputy Mayor of Ossining, she has focused on improving village technology, developing fair and safe housing for residents, and pushing economic and environmental initiatives. 

“I am so honored to have the support of Drew Claxton and Rika Levin.  Drew and Rika both epitomize the highest ideals of public service and leadership in some of the most diverse communities in New York’s 17th Congressional District,” said Schleifer. “They are both well respected for the grit, vision, and leadership they have brought as elected and party leaders in their communities and delivering for their constituents in Peekskill and Ossining.  They are an inspiration and guide to me as I continue my work to empower others and ensure everyone gets the opportunity to pursue their own American Dream.”

The endorsements of Claxton and Levin demonstrate increasing momentum for the Schleifer campaign, which recently released the first television advertisement to air in the race to succeed Congressperson Nita Lowey. Earlier this month, Schleifer announced the opening of a Peekskill office, in addition to an office in White Plains. It is the only campaign to have opened an office in the northern part of the district. The Schleifer Campaign anticipates the opening of its Rockland Office as soon as public-health circumstances allow. And in January, Schleifer’s campaign announced that it had more than $1 million in cash on hand, significantly outpacing opponents. 

A former-Assistant United States Attorney, Schleifer prosecuted major federal crimes including fraud, illegal gun possession, environmental crimes, sexual violence and intimidation, child pornography, and in the process took deadly and dangerous assault weapons and narcotic opioids of the streets.

Prior to serving in the Justice Department, Adam served as a Special Associate Counsel for the New York State Department of Financial Services, where he helped lead consumer-protection enforcement efforts against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders who were targeting minorities, veterans, and low-income New Yorkers, and took on fraud and abuse in the health insurance and financial markets. Schleifer’s successful efforts to root out unfair practices in New York and nationwide contributed to fairness, transparency, and efficiency in New York’s banking and insurance markets.

Schleifer, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle.

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