Republicans win council seats
SUFFOLK COUNTY—Suffolk County’s conservative community gathered at Stereo Garden on Railroad Avenue in Patchogue on Tuesday, Nov. 7, for the Suffolk County Republican Convention. Those in attendance (mostly Brookhaven residents) listened to ’80s rock and techno at the former Emporium while the Election Day results slowly rolled in.
Tim Sini (D, C, I, WF), the new Suffolk County district attorney, had already finished his televised victory speech before Brookhaven’s Republicans (the first group of the night) took the stage. Sini’s victory comes after his predecessor, Thomas Spota (D), was arraigned last month on charges of obstructing the investigation of former police chief James Burke. Sini ultimately won over Raymond Perini (R, RE) with 182,005 (62.08 percent), compared to his rival’s 106,773 (36.42 percent).
Both incumbent Trish Bergin Weichbrodt (R, C, I, WE) and James O’Connor (R, C, I, WE) defeated Samuel Gonzalez (D, WF) and Jason Fenley (D, WF) for the two open seats on the Islip Town Council with 30,789 (29.7 percent) and 28,665 (27.66 percent) respective votes over their rivals’ 22,301 (21.52 percent) and 21,831 (21.07 percent).
“I was very happy with the turnout,” Bergin Weichbrodt told the Suffolk County News on Wednesday morning. “I am grateful to everyone who came out and voted for me.”
O’Connor, a former North Hempstead Town Board member who had been out of politics for a decade when he took on Steve Bellone (D) for Suffolk County executive back in 2015, said he is looking forward to the opportunity and that he is hoping to add another dimension to the Islip Town Board. “I understand I have a lot to learn,” he said, “but I plan on hitting the ground running.”
The 8th Legislative District was close the entire night. And in the end, it came down to just over 200 votes. Incumbent William Lindsay (D, I, WE, WF) clocked in 9,954 (50.61 percent), compared to Anthony Piccirillo (R, C, RF) and his 9,711 (49.38 percent).
Republican chairman John Jay LaValle, however, said on Tuesday night that the 8th District was still too close to call. “[Piccirillo] is right there,” LaValle said. “His absentee ballots are going to put him over the top.”
The 10th Legislative District, on the other hand, wasn’t as close. Incumbent Thomas Cilmi (R, C, I, RF) defeated Joseph Tronolone with 11,038 (69.10 percent), compared to his rival’s 4,929 (30.85 percent).
“It is incredibly humbling to continue to receive such a vote of confidence from people I represent,” Cilmi said in a statement the day after his victory. “Regardless of political affiliation, most people just want an elected official they can count on to be honest and forthright, and to be there for them. I’m thrilled that I get to continue to be that person for at least another two years. I want to thank my opponent for running a spirited race, my staff for the great work they do, everyone who came out and voted… especially those who placed their trust in me. And I especially want to thank my family, my wife in particular, for their love and support.”
Another close race on Tuesday was for Suffolk County sheriff. Newcomer Errol Toulon Jr. (D, C, I) was able to squeeze out 1,354 more votes than Lawrence Zacarese (R, RF), with the final tally being 141,006 (49.41 percent) to 139,652 (48.94 percent).
Toulon Jr. reportedly said his top priorities would be combating gang violence and the opioid crisis, as well as preparing inmates to rejoin society.
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