Democrats Cergol, Guthman, Gaughran Claim Victory


Update: Democrat Joan Cergol defeated Republican James Leonick Tuesday night to retain her seat on the Huntington Town Board.

In addition, Suffolk Water Authority chairman James Gaughran claimed victory over State Sen. Carl Marcellino, helping shift power to the Democrats in Albany.

And incumbent Town Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman defeated Republican attorney Janet Smitelli.| read more ››

Liuba Grechen Shirley, Perry Gershon win congressional primaries


First time candidates Perry Gershon and Liuba Grechen Shirley defeated longtime party veterans for two Democratic Congressional nominations Tuesday night.

With all precincts reporting, East Hampton businessman Perry Gershon had 36 percent of the vote to 30 percent for former Suffolk Legis. Kate Browning, who called Gershon late last night to congratulate him.

Three other challengers had 34 percent of the vote combined.

Gershon will face Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) in November.| read more ››

Cuomo seeks Senate power change after Democratic wins


ALBANY — Democrats finally won a numerical majority in the State Senate after Tuesday’s special elections, yet a conservative Democrat who says he will continue to sit with Republicans has delayed that victory, even as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo urged him to reconsider.

When Tuesday’s winners — Shelley Mayer of Westchester and Luis Sepulveda in the Bronx — are sworn in, the Senate Democrats will have 32 seats if Felder joined them. That’s the number of votes needed to control legislation.| read more ››

Do April showers bring blue waves? Looking at New York's special election results


New York State Republicans who fear a blue wave in November found new reasons to worry in the results of Tuesday’s special elections.

Let’s start in the 10th Assembly District in Huntington, where former Suffolk County lawmaker Steve Stern, a Democrat, defeated Republican attorney Janet Smitelli by 18 percentage points. This is a district that has been in GOP hands for 40 years. It most recently was represented by Chad Lupinacci, who easily won his last two elections for the Assembly, and then led a GOP takeover of town hall in November by winning the supervisor’s race.| read more ››

Start spreading the news! Democrats flip 40th statehouse seat of the cycle


On Tuesday, Democrat Steve Stern flipped New York’s 10th Assembly District, giving Team Blue their 40th pickup of the cycle.

Stern, an attorney and former Suffolk County legislator, won AD-10 with 59-41 percent (as of press time). While no Democrat has represented this district in the state Assembly for over three decades, Hillary Clinton won this Suffolk-area seat 52-45 and Barack Obama carried it 51-48 in 2012; tonight’s flip indicates this seat’s shift toward Democrats is progressing.| read more ››

Dems file complaint on Smitelli in Assembly special election


Suffolk County Democrats have filed a campaign finance complaint against state Assembly candidate Janet Smitelli, alleging the Republican hasn’t fully disclosed some funding sources of her campaign.

It was the latest barbed exchange in the contest between Smitelli and Democrat Steve Stern ahead of Tuesday’s special election to replace Chad Lupinacci, who resigned the 10th District Assembly seat after his election as Huntington Town supervisor.| read more ››

Suffolk Democrats hold fundraiser — with no speeches


Suffolk Democratic chairman Richard Schaffer gave 510 party faithful a dispensation from listening to speeches Monday night at the party’s $300-a-head spring dinner at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook Monday night, to the applause of most of the room.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the event headliner, didn’t speak. Neither did Schaffer, who said he was happy to spend his time mixing with party activists.

“I think it worked out better because people were able to talk informally one-on-one with him [DiNapoli] and me and other elected officials about issues and their concerns,” Schaffer said.| read more ››

Orelli officially wins Huntington highway superintendent election


All the votes have been counted, and Democratic candidate Kevin Orelli has been declared the winner of the race for Huntington highway superintendent.

Orelli, 66, defeated Republican candidate John Clarke 25,087 to 24,763, garnering 50.32 percent of the vote, according to the official, and final, results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

“I’m very excited to be the winner, and I’m looking forward to starting the job,” Orelli said Tuesday. The position is a four-year term and pays $139,969 annually plus a $7,000 stipend for being emergency response coordinator, for a total of $146,969.

Orelli was also on the Green, Working Families, Women’s Equality and Reform party lines. He lost a Democratic primary four years ago for highway superintendent....| read more ››

Errol Toulon Jr. wins Suffolk sheriff’s race; Larry Zacarese concedes


Democrat Errol Toulon Jr. will be Suffolk County’s new sheriff after Republican candidate Larry Zacarese conceded the close race Monday.

Toulon, a former New York City deputy corrections commissioner, becomes Long Island’s first African American nonjudicial countywide elected official, political observers said.

Toulon and Zacarese vied to replace Sheriff Vincent DeMarco in the Nov. 7 election that was too close to call on election night and required counting of more than 14,000 absentee ballots. Toulon expanded his unofficial election night lead of 1,352 votes over Zacarese to 2,043 votes by Monday, out of more than 300,000 votes cast. A handful of votes remain to be counted, election officials said.

Suffolk’s other contested race was also settled Monday when Republican Anthony...| read more ››