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Republicans sweep Southold Town elections

The two Republican incumbent Southold Town Board members won re-election Tuesday night, as the GOP swept the three open trustees positions, town highway superintendent, town justice of the peace and the assessors races.

The top vote getter for the Town Board race was Councilman James Dinizio, with 28.3 percent of the vote with 18 of 19 election districts reporting. He was followed by his GOP colleague, Councilman Robert Ghosio, with 26.3 percent of the vote. Four years ago, Mr. Dinizio was also the top vote getter.

Democratic challenger Mary Eisenstein, who ran unsuccessfully in 2013 when she captured 23 percent of the vote, was a close third behind Mr. Ghosio, with 25.33 percent of the vote in those same 18 election districts.

“This was the tightest race I’ve been in, and I’ve been [in races] since 2006,” Mr. Ghosio said. “Mary and Debbie [O’Kane] ran a good, hard campaign and I squeaked it out. I’m honored the folks in town trust me to do a good job and I hope to continue to do the good work I’ve tried to do all these years.”

For his part as the Town Board’s top vote getter, Mr. Dinizio said, “I appreciate everyone going out and voting for me. I want to get the accreditation for the police department. That’s the most important thing to me. It might not be the most glitzy, but that’s my most important thing – to keep the police safe.”

Art Tillman, the Southold Town Democratic Party chairman, said he would likely challenge the Town Board vote totals, as well as town highway superintendent, where Republican incumbent Vincent Orlando beat Eugene Wesnofske, 52 percent to 47 percent.

“Some of our candidates may still win,” Mr. Tillman said. “This is the best group of candidates we’ve ever had. There will be no regrets. They gave their all for everything they did.”

Speaking to a reporter, Mr. Tillman added: “These are good numbers; they’re the best we’ve seen in ten years, maybe.”

Candidates and supporters watch the results at the Southold Town Democratic Committee Election Day event at American Beech. (Credit: Rachel Siford)

Speaking to a crowd at a Greenport restaurant, Mary Eisenstein sounded a strong note, saying the fight to preserve Southold would go on.

“We are at a crossroads,” she said. “We know that being reactive and complacent cannot continue for the protection of what Southold Town is. We are a wonderful community, the last undeveloped place on Long Island … We are going to fight to protect what we have left here with everything in us. We are going to keep on moving forward.”

The newly elected town justice, Eileen Powers, who beat Democratic challenger Robert Meguin by a 65 percent to a 34 percent margin, thanked the voters of Southold Town, happily pointing out that “it’s the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote in New York.”

Three Republican candidates swept the open trustees seats. Re-elected Trustee Mike Domino said: “I’m looking forward to being a little more productive on alternate septic systems and redefining the role of the Conservation Advisory Committee, and working with the Shellfish Advisory Committee to open up more creeks to shellfishing.”

The top trustee vote getter was Mattituck businessman Greg Williams, with 23.8 percent of the vote, ahead of GOP incumbent John Bredemeyer, with 22.9 percent of the vote.

Kathryn Casey Quigley, who will become the vice chair of the town Democratic Party, also sounded optimistic about the future.

“We will keep fighting,” she said.

Ms. O’Kane sounded a similar note: “We will continue to grow and continue to be a force to be reckoned with. There are a lot of new faces and a lot of younger people who have joined the party as well and it leads us to a place where we can be optimistic about the future.”

As for her loss, she said, “I’m not discouraged. I am disappointed, but not discouraged.”

For Ms. Eisenstein, the night’s results point to a community that wants ideas and actions.

“I think the community is saying that they want our elected officials to be paying attention, to be present, and planning to come up with new ideas, and to be proactive.”

Here are the vote totals from 19 of 19 precincts:

Town Board (Two open seats)
James Dinizio (C,R) 3,805
Bob Ghosio (R) 3,540
Mary Eisenstein (D) 3,417
Debbie O’Kane (D) 2,694

Town Justice
Eileen Powers (R) 4,354
Robert Meguin (D) 2,394

Highway Superintendent 
Vincent Orlando (R) 3,626
Gene Wesnofske (D) 3,331

Town Trustee (Three seats)
Greg Williams (R) 4,367
John Bredemeyer (R) 4,185
Michael Domino (R) 3,972
Elizabeth Smith (D) 3,147
Derek Bossen (D) 2,613

Assessor (Two seats)
Kevin Webster (R) 4,760
Charles Sanders (R) 3,936
Damon Rallis (D) 3,033

In other races, Suffolk County police commissioner Tim Sini was elected as Suffolk County district attorney, earning an overwhelming majority of the votes (62 percent) against Republican Raymond Perini.

Mr. Sini said in his victory speech that his mission was to restore integrity to the DA office.

“We have a lot of work to do and this work begins immediately,” Mr. Sini said.

The race for sheriff showed Democrat Errol Toulon Jr. with a very slim lead over Republican Lawrence Zacarese. Mr. Toulon had 141,006 votes (49.41 percent) to 139,652 (48.93 percent).

In the Suffolk County Legislature, incumbent Al Krupski easily won re-election against Republican Remy Bell with 70 percent of the votes.

The proposal for a constitutional convention faced a steep backlash in Suffolk County with 86.6 percent of voters turning it down.

Top photo: Southold Town Republican chairman Pete McGreevy and Councilman Bob Ghosio track the Election Day results with supporters at the American Legion in Southold Tuesday. (Credit: Nicole Smith)