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Matt Damon Endorsement Lends Star Power To Bedford Justice Race

July 15, 2021

The Martian actor endorsed his former college roommate and candidate for Bedford Town Justice in a video posted from the Outback.


By Jeff Edwards

BEDFORD, NY — The Democrat running for Bedford Town Justice has an impressive list of endorsements, including Westchester County Executive George Latimer and the Building and Construction Trades Union — her Republican opponent, however, has the backing of Jason Bourne.

This week, mega-star Matt Damon posted a video throwing his support behind his former college roommate at Harvard, Clark Petschek. Damon touted his friend’s time in the special forces spent hunting down war criminals following the war in Bosnia, saying that his sense of justice led him to risk his life for the cause.

“I know Clark really well,” Damon said in the minute-and-a-half-long video posted to YouTube on Tuesday. “He is one of the most exceptional people I’ve met in my life … He is a special guy and he is going to do a great job and be a special judge.”

After leaving the military, Clark worked as a lawyer volunteering in the public defender’s office. He served as in-house counsel at a risk management firm he founded and ran with a former Army colleague. More recently, Clark has served as a Hearing Officer for the New York State Retirement System and the New York State Gaming Commission.

Meanwhile, Clark’s opponent, Jodi Kimmel, a former clerk for a New Jersey Superior Court Judge and co-founder of her own law firm, is downplaying the significance of the Hollywood endorsement.

“For what it’s worth — my college roommate thinks I’d make for a great Town Justice,” Kimmel told media outlets, including the Journal News and News 12 Westchester.

Of course, Kimmel’s college roommate never won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

The two candidates are vying to replace Judge Erik Jacobsen, whose term ends this year in the November general election. Jacobsen chose not to seek re-election following a DWI conviction in August.

Matt Damon endorses Clark Petschek for Bedford town justice

July 15, 2021

News 12

A candidate for Bedford’s next town justice received a celebrity endorsement.

Actor Matt Damon showed support to close friend Clark Petschek in his run for Bedford Justice Court.

Damon and Petschek’s relationship dates back to when the two were roommates at Harvard.

Petschek is running on the Republican and Bedford United lines. He’s hoping to replace Judge Erik Jacobsen.

“Clark wants to take some of this hard fought wisdom from this life of his and take it to the bench and become a judge, something I think he will do exceptionally well,” Damon says.

Petshcek is facing Democrat candidate Jodi Kimmel in November’s election.

Kimmel has endorsements from local officials, including Westchester County Executive George Latimer and state Sen. Shelley Mayer.

In a statement, Kimmel adds, “For what it’s worth – my college roommate thinks I’d make for a great Town Justice.”

Matt Damon (yes, that one) gets involved in Bedford town justice race

July 14, 2021

Rockland/Westchester Journal News

By David Propper

Good vote hunting in Bedford? 

Matt Damon (yes, that one) threw his support behind Bedford justice court candidate Clark Petschek in a video endorsement posted Tuesday afternoon. The “Good Will Hunting” star, from his backyard in Australia, called Petschek “one of the most exceptional people I’ve met in my life.”

Petschek, who is running on the Republican and Bedford United lines, is facing Democrat Jodi Kimmel this November to replace Judge Erik Jacobsen, whose term is up at the end of this year. 

Damon, known for his acting in the Jason Bourne series and “The Martian,” and Petschek have been friends since they attended Harvard. They were roommates their sophomore and junior year after they met freshman year, according to Petschek. 

Damon, during the nearly 90-second video posted on YouTube, detailed Petschek’s time in the United States special forces following the Bosnia War and said it made sense that Petschek would want to serve on the bench following his vast life experience.

“He’s a special guy and he’s going to do a great job and be a special judge,” said Damon, who typically throws his support behind Democrats at the national level. 

Petschek, in an email, said when he announced he was running for town justice, the Oscar award winner suggested a video endorsement. He acknowledged Damon’s endorsement is a “little unique in a local election.”

“But I want voters to understand who I am professionally and personally,” Petschek said. 

Kimmel, when reached for comment about the Damon video, said, “endorsements come in many different varieties and some are more difficult to get than others.”

She listed some of the people who are behind her campaign, including County Executive George Latimer, State Sen. Shelley Mayer and State Assemblyman Chris Burdick. 

“And for what it’s worth, my college roommate thinks I’d make for a great Town Justice,” Kimmel said in an email. 

Damon isn’t the first big name to wade into Westchester politics. In Yonkers, rapper Jadakiss, whose real name is Jason Terrance Phillips, encouraged voters to support Lakisha Collins-Bellamy in a Democratic primary for Yonkers city council president this spring. She easily topped two candidates, including incumbent Mike Khader.

Petschek has lived in Bedford for more than 40 years and is a member of the town’s zoning board of appeals. He’s practiced law for more than 20 years and also boasts the endorsement of former congresswoman Sue Kelly. 

Kimmel has lived in Bedford since 2008 and has practiced law for more than 20 years. She and her husband started a law practice in 2004. 

Either Kimmel or Petschek would replace Jacobsen, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DWI charge last August.

Bedford United Reveals Slate of Candidates

July 9, 2021


By Tom Bartley

BEDFORD, N.Y. – Bedford United, a homegrown political party that describes itself as independent and focused on local issues, transparency and bipartisanship, has endorsed the Republicans’ slate of candidates for election in November.

They are Don Scott for supervisor, Peter Michaelis for Town Board, Boo Fumagalli for town clerk, and Clark Petschek for town justice. Alli Choi, who entered the race too late to be considered for the GOP ballot, Scott said, will be Bedford United’s other Town Board candidate.

“We are thrilled to be entrusted to bring much-needed transparency and local focus to our town governance,” Scott said. “Each one of Bedford United’s candidates brings a diverse range of skills and experiences.”

All told, he said, the Bedford United slate represents more than 40 years of combined experience in elected office and over 80 years serving on town permitting boards, commissions and advisory committees.

“We are humbled to have the support of Bedford voters from across the political spectrum,” Scott said.

Bedford United posted brief sketches of its candidates on the party website,