Balance coming to Southold Town Hall as Democrats win six key races

Two weeks after polls closed in Southold Town on Election Day, attorneys continue to examine contested ballots, officials at the Suffolk County Board of Elections reported Wednesday morning.

But the results, as released by jubilant town Democrats, signal an even more historic outcome for the party than previously expected.

Southold Town Democrats say they have won six of the seven contested races, bringing a balance of power to Town Hall. It is the first time Democrats have won six races in a single-town election in modern history — dating back at least 90 years.

”I am thrilled and proud of all seven of the Democratic candidates, as well as the many volunteers on the campaign and Democratic committee,” Southold Town Democratic Committee chair Kathryn Casey Quigley said in a statement. “The collaboration, coordination, commitment and care came through loud and clear to voters in Southold. Voters sent a clear message that it’s time for change in Southold, and our town is so fortunate to have that change be led by such a dynamic and capable group of individuals.”

Democrat Brian Mealy is joining running mate Greg Doroski on the Southold Town Board next year and the duo is bringing plenty of company with them. According to data provided by Ms. Quigley, Mr. Mealy holds a 245-vote lead over Republican Greg Williams, a current Trustee.

Town Councilman-elect Brian Mealy was all smiles on Election Day. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

As reported on Election Night, Democrat Dan Goodwin won the race for highway superintendent and, following a count of absentee ballots Monday and Tuesday, the party now appears to have won all three open seats on the Board of Trustees with wins for Eric Sepenoski, Liz Gillooly and Elizabeth Peeples. At the conclusion of counting absentee ballots Tuesday, Ms. Peeples, who trailed on Election Day by 84 votes, held a 17-vote lead over Republican Kristina Gabrielsen. An additional 141 contested ballots still needed to be counted Wednesday, but Democrats do not believe the outcome of the election will change. 

Republican chair Peter McGreevy declined to comment Tuesday night, saying he was still awaiting the certification from the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Officials at the BOE said that the vote count, which began Monday, could end later Wednesday.

Town clerk-elect Denis Noncarrow is the only Republican to win a contested race this year, though the party’s unchallenged nominees did help the party retain a pair of Assessor posts, a judge’s seat and Fishers Island Town Justice.

Should all the results hold up as they become certified, come January the Town Board will feature a 3-3 split with a Republican supervisor, a Democrat-led highway department, a justice from each party and a Board of Trustees featuring four Democrats and one Republican. Just three years ago, only two of 18 elected posts in town were held by Democrats; in 2022 that number will climb to an even nine.

Mr. Mealy is also the first Black man ever elected to a Southold Town post.