After a tight race and two weeks of counting absentee ballots, Republican Jill Doherty and Democrat Anne Smith officially came out victorious in securing spots on the Southold Town Council.
According to the uncertified final results from the Nov. 7 election provided by the Suffolk County Board of Elections, Ms. Smith was the front runner with 4,367 votes — approximately 26.55%.
With just 139 between them, Ms. Doherty triumphed over her Democratic opponent Gwynn Schroeder with 4,251 votes to 4,112.
“I am grateful for the trust that the voters have in me to continue to serve the town we all love,” Ms. Doherty said.
Ms. Doherty maintains the board seat she has held since first elected in 2011. Her experience in town government spans several decades.
She served 26 years with the Mattituck Fire Department Auxiliary and worked for local banks and as a bookkeeper before coming to Southold Town Hall as a clerk to the Board of Trustees. During much of her most recent four-year term as a council member, she played a key role in crafting and educating residents about the Community Housing Plan, a key step in tackling the town’s affordable housing shortage.
“Jill’s work ethic and personality came to the forefront in this campaign, and the results prove that voters appreciate her knowledge of town government, and her commitment to our neighbors,” said Peter McGreevy, chairman of the Southold Republican Committee. “We know that Jill, working with our town board, Legislator Catherine Stark, and County Executive Ed Romaine, will continue her commitment to resolve issues facing Southold Town.”
Since she and her husband moved to Mattituck in 1985, Ms. Smith has served in numerous roles throughout the community. She retired as superintendent of the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District in 2018 after previously serving as assistant superintendent and elementary school principal. Among her other titles, Ms. Smith served as chair of the North Fork Coalition for Behavioral Health, advocating for local mental health services for families; president of the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association; and a member of the Southold Town Police Review Task Force.
“Running with Gwynn Schroeder allowed me to gain a deep knowledge of the environmental issues we face and I commend her leadership — having worked with Jill on the Housing Commission, I know her commitment to Southold Town and look forward to working with her,” Ms. Smith said. “I look forward to joining Al Krupski as Supervisor and the entire Town Board as we move Southold Town forward shaping the future and strengthening community.”
Sandra Benedetto, the acting chairperson of the Southold Town Democratic Committee, said all three women ran “outstanding” campaigns. Ms. Benedetto added there are ballots still pending, however they are insignificant and won’t change the results.
“The fact that the race for the two Council seats was so close between two Democrats and a three-term Republican incumbent, indicates our candidates’ message resonated with Southold voters,” said Ms. Benedetto. “We regret that Gwynn did not win, but wish her success in her future endeavors — and we congratulate Anne and Jill and wish them well in serving our community as Town Councilwomen.”
Ed. Note: This post was updated on Nov. 28.