Heading into Tuesday’s election in Southold Town it was clear voters would be electing their first new judge in 20 years and a new Trustee would also be voted into office.
It appears those could be the only two offices to see a change in 2016.
Town Supervisor Scott Russell won handily over Democratic challenger Damon Rallis. With one district still to report, Mr. Russell led unofficially with 3,906 votes to Mr. Rallis’ 2,131, preliminary results from the Board of Elections show.
Mr. Russell thanked his supporters for their help.
“You get behind a candidate and you support him 100 percent of the way,” he said to the Republicans gathered at the Soundview Restaurant in Greenport. “I can’t thank you enough.”
Mr. Russell said he’ll work to earn the trust voters placed in him during his next term.
Mr. Rallis said he was proud to put up a fight and run a “clean campaign” despite losing.
“I sent a text to my kid: ‘God’s got a different plan. I’ll figure that out tomorrow,'” he said, adding that he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family while still keeping an eye on things at Town Hall.
The only district not to report was in Greenport, where a computer error reportedly delayed the ballot count. Those results are not expected until at least Wednesday, officials said.
Despite having that one district and absentee ballots still to count, the two incumbent Republican council members, Jill Doherty and William Ruland, also appeared to won handily Tuesday, as did incumbent assessor Richard Caggiano.
The tightest two-candidate race of the night came in the battle for Town Justice, where candidate Brian Hughes led Republican William Goggins by 180 votes, according to BOE numbers too close to call Tuesday night.
Asked how he was feeling at Tuesday’s Democratic gala at Touch of Venice in Cutchogue, “I think it’s very close and I think it’s going to be in the hands of the absentee ballots out there.
Mr. Goggins said no matter what happens, Southold will “be in a better place.”
“I think we both worked hard and we both want what is best for the Southold Town Justice Court,” he said.
The winner will replace retiring judge Rudolph Bruer, who is stepping down after 20 years on the bench.
Democrat Nick Krupski won the first seat on the Board of Trustees by nearly 800 votes and, in the tightest race of the night, incumbent Republican Dave Bergen leads for the second seat by just five votes over running mate Glenn Goldsmith in another race too close to call. A fourth candidate, Matthew Kapell, finished about 300 votes behind Mr. Bergen and Mr. Goldsmith.
Mr. Krupski, whose father Al is a former Trustee who won re-election to the County Legislature in a landslide Tuesday, thanked his supporters.
“I’m insanely passionate about the environment, the bays, the creeks, the oysters, so I’m going to work to the best of my ability to keep Southold what it is and to improve it,” he said.
Town Republican leader Peter McGreevy said 637 absentee ballots were mailed out. Of those, 198 were sent to Democrats, 263 to Republicans, 16 to Conservatives, 29 to Independence, 128 to voters registered as blanks and a couple of other ballots to minor party registrants.
Caption: Town Supervisor Scott Russell watches the election results come in Tuesday.