With the paper ballots counted in the Southold Town races, Republican incumbent Councilman Robert Ghosio held on to his lead over Democrat Mary Eisenstein.
Ghosio’s margin of victory over Eisenstein narrowed to 62 votes after Suffolk County Board of Elections officials counted 614 paper ballots yesterday afternoon in Yaphank. The Election Night tally of ballots scanned by voting machines had Ghosio ahead of Eisenstein by 123 votes.
Incumbent James Dinizio Jr., who had the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines, was the top vote-getter in the four-way council race with 4,076 votes. Ghosio (R-C) came in second with 3,782 votes. Eisenstein, whose name appeared on the Democratic and Independence lines, placed third with 3,720 votes. Debra O’Kane, running on the Democratic and Women’s Equality line, finished last with 2,974 votes.
Southold Republican Party leader Peter McGreevy said the paper ballot count concluded at 5:30 p.m. yesterday. He was confident Ghosio’s Election Night victory was going to hold up in the paper ballot count.
In the Souhtold highway superintendent’s race, Republican incumbent Vincent Orlando defeated Democrat Eugene L. Wesnofske 3,885 votes to 3,629 votes — a margin of 256 votes. The paper ballot count narrowed the gap a bit; Wesnofske trailed Orlando by 287 votes after the machine count on Nov. 7.
In a close council race in Riverhead, where Democrat Catherine Kent led Republican Frank Beyrodt by 95 votes in the Election Night machine tally, a paper ballot count yesterday widened the Democrat’s lead to 123 votes.
In the Suffolk County sheriff race, which was too close to call on Election Night when Democrat Errol Toulon Jr. led Republican Larry Zacarese by 1,354 votes, the Democrat’s lead has also expanded in the paper ballot count. With 76 percent of the absentee ballots counted, Toulon now leads Zacarese by 1,657 votes. Zacarese would need to win 80 percent of the remaining 4,600 absentee ballots to pull out a victory — an extremely unlikely outcome. Zacarese has not officially conceded the race, but he announced yesterday he was withdrawing his volunteers and would not make any further challenges to any ballots.
Toulon, a former NYC deputy corrections commissioner, will be the first African-American to be elected to a countywide position.
Official results in the Nov. 7 election won’t be certified until next week at the earliest, according to election officials.
Correction: A previously published article stated the paper ballot count was scheduled to take place this morning.