Dems keep the county
SUFFOLK COUNTY—Anxious Democrats filed into the IBEW Hall in Hauppauge Tuesday night to await reports from election districts all across the county. Election Day 2017 proved exciting once again for the Dems, who were hoping for big wins in Suffolk County.
Candidates gathered around supporters, who kept tabs on the results being transmitted onto an oversized screen. Many of those in attendance were counting on the reportedly higher turnout at the polls compared to previous years. “I think the Dems will do well,” said former Islip Councilman Chris Bodkin early in the evening. By the end of the night, Suffolk’s police commissioner Tim Sini was elected district attorney by a 7,000-plus-vote margin over Republican Ray Perini. Errol Toulon Jr. – who had only entered the race for sheriff a couple of months ago – was elected to the position over Republican Larry Zacarese.
Islip candidates did not do as well, though. At the beginning of the night, hopes were high. Soon after arriving at election headquarters, candidate Joe Tronolone, who was looking to unseat longtime incumbent Tom Cilmi of the 10th Legislative District, said he was feeling optimistic. Brightwaters mayor Joe McDermott had a good feeling as well. However, once the numbers began flashing across the screen, it became obvious that things weren’t going their way. McDermott conceded to Republican Town Councilman Steve Flotteron and Cilmi kept his seat.
Bill Lindsay in the 8th District pulled out a very narrow win over opponent, Anthony Piccirillo. Absentee ballots might change those results.
Sam Gonzalez and Jason Fenley, running for Islip Town Council, lost to their Republican opponents, incumbent Trish Bergin Weichbrodt and newcomer James O’Connor.
“We did the best we could,” said Fenley, who noted he that was the most qualified for the position of all the candidates. “But people voted along party lines.”
“I don’t regret [running for office],” Fenley added. “I met a lot of interesting people.”
Tronolone said he was satisfied with the high number of votes he received as a first-time candidate and would certainly consider running for office again.
“I feel pretty good, and I’m still smiling,” he said.
Suffolk’s Democratic leader, Rich Schaffer – who was reelected Babylon Town supervisor by a wide margin – announced that the Democrats would maintain control of the Legislature. Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone said he was “happy and gratified” with the results. Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, who also won reelection, said he and the Legislature would work to “put partisanship aside to work together…moving Suffolk County in the right direction.”
Schaffer thanked all of the candidates and supporters for their hard work. And despite the fact that it wasn’t a clean sweep for the Dems, he announced confidently to a cheering crowd, “I’d rather be us than them.”
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