Suffolk County Democrats on the South Shore will likely experience a harrowing loss in this year’s election after several near defeats in the polls as of Wednesday morning.
However, Suffolk County Democratic chairman Rich Schaffer said it’s too early to know for certain: many absentee ballots have yet to be counted.
While most Democratic contenders were trailing as of Wednesday morning, Schaffer said, the blue party typically receives more votes via absentee ballots than Republicans.
“We always knew Republicans vote on Election Day and Democrats vote via absentee ballots,” Schaffer said. “There’s about 140,00 to 150,000 absentee ballots cast that have to be opened by Democrats and Republican representatives at the Board of Elections. Once [those] are opened and tallied, I believe some of these results will be different.”
Jackie Gordon, of Copiague, who aims to take the seat of retiring Republican congressman Peter King in the 2nd Congressional District, was trailing behind fellow newcomer Andrew Garbarino as of Wednesday.
Gordon, running on the Democratic, Working Families and Independence lines, obtained 45 percent of the vote early Wednesday. Meanwhile, Garbarino, of Sayville, nailed down 53 percent of the vote. Approximately 1.04 percent of the vote was directed to Harry Burger of the Green Party.
Early in the evening, the Suffolk County Democratic Committee hosted a watch party on Zoom, where Gordon said she was feeling positive about the race.
“We feel good, we got a feeling,” Gordon said. She thanked her fellow Democratic candidates and everyone who was involved in her campaign.
“I have a great team, we’ve all been working our fingers to the bone,” she said. “This has been 18 months of just continuous work and effort, and it's just the culture of the campaign. It’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to make sure we do more for the people in Suffolk County.”
As of Wednesday morning, incumbent Phil Boyle (R, C, I-Bay Shore) was beating out challenger and former assemblywoman Christine Pellegrino in the race for New York's 4th Senatorial District. Pellegrino obtained 40 percent of the vote, while Boyle, who has served in his position for the past eight years, nailed down 59 percent.
During the Zoom meeting, Pellegrino said she believes Tuesday was a successful voting day for Democrats and was eager to hear the results of the senatorial race. She also thanked the community effort involved in her campaign.
“A lot of people were out voting today; they were certainly excited to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot, voting for all the things that we stand for [including] our public schools, our environment,” Pellegrino said.
“We know that we are in the fight of our life in terms of our democracy, but locally, we know that we want good people elected, like those of us that are here in 2020,” Pellegrino added. “I can’t thank you all for your support.”
Francis Genco, 67, who also was not actively campaigning but appeared on the Democratic Party line this year, was losing in his race against Jarett Gandolfo (R, C, I-Sayville) for a seat in New York’s 7th Assembly District. As of Wednesday, Gandolfo obtained 65 percent of the vote to Genco’s 34 percent.
As the results continued to shuffle in, Schaffer said he told the Democratic candidates “to give the Board of Elections time to do what they do best: count all the votes in a bipartisan fashion.”
Linda Leuzzi contributed to this story