The Republican wave that swept across Suffolk County Tuesday didn’t stop short of Southold, where GOP incumbent Dave Bergen won a special election for an abbreviated term on the town’s Board of Trustees.
Mr. Bergen, 59, of Cutchogue received just over 4,000 votes to secure a 57-43 percent victory over Democratic challenger Abigail Field.
“I am honored the voters of Southold supported me,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to get done. I look forward to being back again this year and to serving the residents of Southold.”
The election was to fill the final year on former trustee and current Town Board member Bob Ghosio’s seat, which Mr. Bergen was appointed to earlier this year.
Mr. Bergen was greeted by more than 50 supporters at a Southold Town Republican Committee gala at the Soundview Restaurant in Greenport, where the crowd also celebrated victories in the local Congressional and State Assembly races.
Town GOP leader Peter McGreevy said “it’s apparent the people of Southold like what Dave has to offer.”
Ms. Field, 43, of Cutchogue expressed disappointment, but wished her opponent luck, after conceding at the town Democratic event at Touch of Venice in Cutchogue.
“I congratulate Dave and I am sure he will continue to represent Southold to the best of his ability,” she said. “I’m very grateful for all the support and the votes I did receive.”
Mr. Bergen is a native North Forker and an associate dean at Suffolk Community College who has served on the Board of Trustees for nine years.
An appointed incumbent, he was previously elected to two terms but did not receive the Republican nomination for re-election in 2013.
He centered his campaign on his experience in office, pointing to his work helping to squash the state’s proposed saltwater fishing license program and authoring a law requiring safe disposal of prescription drugs as examples of the positive work he has done. He has also promoted the use of copper-free paints on boats, gotten three local creeks added to the county’s dredging list and secured grants to purchase pump-out boats in an effort to prevent boat effluent from being flushed into surface waters.
Both candidates said they were pleased with the positive tone of the race
“She ran a great campaign,” said Mr. Bergen.
The seat will be up for grabs again next November, when Mr. Bergen said he expects to seek a third four-year term.