2011 Top Story No. 7: GOP domination continues

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12/26/2011 7:00 AM |

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Several aspects of this year’s town elections broke with tradition, but the results were quite familiar.

Several aspects of this year’s town elections broke with tradition, but the results were quite familiar.

In rebuilding mode after suffering historic losses in the 2007 elections, the last time the supervisor’s seat was on the ballot, the Democrats entered this election cycle with a new leader, new committee members and a commitment to challenge most town offices, not just those at the top of the ticket. That included taking on veteran Town Justice Rudolph Bruer, who faced his first opponent in 12 years.

The Democrats also widened their platform to address non-local issues, the most notable plank being opposing any efforts by Congress to trim social programs, such as Medicare.

The first signs that the campaign wouldn’t go the party’s way came in September during a rare judicial primary. Brian Hughes, a Republican running with Democratic support, challenged Mr. Bruer for both the Conservative and Independence Party lines. In both primaries the incumbent scored lopsided victories, results that foreshadowed what would come in the general election in November.

Although he did not match his unprecedented 2007 victory, in which he took 83 percent of the vote, Supervisor Scott Russell cruised to an easy win over Bob Meguin. The GOP maintained its grip on town government with every Republican candidate — all but one an incumbent — returning to office.

The one change for 2012 is the Town Board’s female contingent will double, from one to two. Trustee president Jill Doherty was elected to the seat left open by Councilman Vinny Orlando’s retirement. Fishers Island Justice Louisa Evans is currently the only female Town Board member.

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