Southold Republicans swept at the polls once again this year, re-electing all incumbents, including two councilmen, two trustees, the highway superintendent and an assessor, and winning open seats on the board of trustees, board of assessors and justice court.
Councilmen Jim Dinizio and Bob Ghosio defeated Democratic challengers Mary Eisenstein and Debbie O’Kane in the four-way race for two seats. Dinizio was the top vote-getter in the council contest, with a total of 3,805 ballots cast in his favor, 28.3 percent, followed by Ghosio with 3,540 votes, 26.3 percent. Eisenstein polled a close third with 3,417 votes, 25.4 percent, just 123 votes behind Ghosio. O’Kane finished last with 2,664 or 20 percent of the vote.
Incumbent trustees John Bredemeyer and Michael Domino were returned to office with 22.9 and 21.7 percent of the vote, respectively, in a five-way race for three seats. Newcomer Greg Williams won the third seat with 23.9 percent.
Kevin Webster was re-elected as town assessor, winning 40.6 percent of the vote in a three-way race for two spots on the three-person board of assessors. Newcomer Charles Sanders won the open seat with 33.5 percent of the vote. Democrat Damon Rallis trailed with 25.8 percent of the ballots.
Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando bested challenger Eugene Wesnofske, 52 percent to 48 percent.
Newcomer Eileen Powers trounced Bob Meguin 64.5 percent to 35.5 percent in the race to fill the town justice seat being vacated by Bill Price, who decided not to seek re-election.
Incumbent town clerk and Fishers Island Justice Louisa Evans ran unopposed, each winning more than 99 percent of the vote, with 18 write-in ballots cast in the clerk’s contest and seven in the Fishers Island justice contest.
“They walked just about every road in the town, they knocked on thousands of doors, they stood outside the post offices and every place you can buy an egg sandwich and a coffee anywhere near here, Southold Republican chairman Peter McGreevy told the crowd gathered at the Southold American Legion post, the Republicans’ election night headquarters.
“They offered the voters to keep Southold the town that we want it to be, to keep Southold the town that you can afford to live in, that you want to live in, that you want to raise your family in,” McGreevy said.
“It was a real nail-biter,” said Ghosio, a former town trustee elected to his second term as councilman. “I have to give Mary and Debbie credit for running such a good campaign. I feel fortunate and certainly honored to come out of this the winner and I’ll continue to do what I’ve done for the last 12 years. I’m going to work hard for the town and be as thoughtful and fair as I can in what we do on the town board,” Ghosio said.
Dinizio, a registered Conservative running on the Republican ticket, thanked the voters for their trust and the committee for its support.
The mood was subdued at American Beech in Greenport, where the Democrats set up their headquarters for the night, as supporters watched the returns trickle in and the direction of the balloting became clear. After the votes were tallied, the Democratic town board candidates spoke to the crowd.
“This slate of candidates believes so strongly in the love of our town,” Eisenstein said. “We are at a crossroads. We know that being reactive and complacent cannot continue for the protection of what Southold town is,” she said.
“We’re just going to keep at this, to keep building the party,” O’Kane said.
That sentiment was echoed by longtime Democratic committee chairman Art Tillman, who hailed the increase in Democrat enrollment in the town and the infusion of younger people into local politics. The next generation of leaders has arrived, he said, praising Kathryn Casey Quigley for her work on the campaign. Tillman announced that Bob Meguin would be stepping down as vice chairman of the Democratic committee and Quigley would be taking his place in that spot.
Quigley said the 2016 election “stirred all of us to do more, to take more steps because we believe that government can make a difference in our lives, can build community and create better places.”
The final result of the election will not be certified by the Suffolk County Board of Elections for more than a week, after all absentee ballots are received and counted.
Courtney Blasl and Emil Breitenbach Jr. contributed reporting.
County-wide election results: Krupski, Sini win big
Sheriff race in virtual dead heat, headed for recount
County Legislator Al Krupski was re-elected yesterday with 70 percent of the vote. Krupski beat Remy Bell of Riverhead with 14,821 votes to Bell’s 6,303.
Krupski, of Cutchogue, a Democrat, won his third full term as legislator, having been elevated to the post in a special election in January 2013, in which he defeated Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter.
The first farmer ever elected to Suffolk’s legislature, Krupski served in Southold town government for nearly 30 years prior to winning the North Fork district in 2013.
Democrat Tim Sini easily won election as Suffolk County district attorney, defeating Republican Ray Perini and Libertarian Christopher Garvey with 62 percent of the votes cast.
The DA post is currently vacant, following the indictment last month of longtime incumbent Thomas Spota on federal felony charges alleging witness tampering and obstruction of justice in connection with the prosecution of former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke, who was convicted on federal obstruction of justice charges last years and sentenced to 46 months in federal prison.
Sini, a former federal prosecutor, is the current Suffolk County Police commissioner, appointed by County Executive Steve Bellone in November 2015.
In the race for Suffolk County sheriff, also an open seat, a mere 1,354 votes separate Errol Toulon Jr., who won 49.41 percent, and Lawrence Zacharese, who won 48.93 percent of the 285,366 votes cast yesterday, according to unofficial results published by te Suffolk County Board of Elections. Libertarian candidate Peter Krauss took 4,613 votes. There were also 95 write-in votes. An unknown number of absentee ballots remain to be counted. The sheriff race, too close to call, is headed for a recount.
Arthur Diamond, Thomas Feinman, Linda Kevins and William Rebolini won the four open State Supreme Court, Suffolk County seats, in a field of 10 candidates.
Democrat Theresa Whelan easily defeated Steven Weissbard for Family Court judge, 62.1 to 37.9 percent.
The constitutional convention ballot question failed with 80 percent of the state’s voters voting no, according to The New York Times
– Denise Civiletti