An Unlikely Mayor: A Retired Lawyer Enters Public Service

Josh Cohn worked as top, derivatives lawyer for a series of well-respected, law firms. He commuted by train to New York City everyday from the affluent suburb of Rye, NY. But at the age of 66, he was increasingly bored with the work and planned to retire from the legal field.

He came home one night, cracked open a beer and ended up watching a city council meeting on a local, cable-access channel. That’s when he became aware of a plan to put up mini-cell phone towers throughout the city including one directly across the street from his house. He helped form “Protecting Residential Rye” and with the help of dozens of other concerned citizens, the group successfully halted these plans. In the wake of this success, a local Councilwoman asked, “Josh, have you every thought about running for Mayor?”

Josh ran as an independent with the endorsement of Rye’s Democratic Party. And when all the votes were counted, he successfully defeated the Republican incumbent.

“What I like best about the job is problem-solving. And problems can be large, problems can be small.” His thorough, research-driven, methodical approach has earned strong praise from his fellow council members and Rye’s citizens.

In November 2021, he won a second term — this time with the endorsement of both the Democratic and Republican parties.



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