The power structure of Long Island town and city leadership remained largely intact in Tuesday's elections, as voters re-elected many incumbents and chose several new lawmakers.
Republican councilman Anthony Santino was elected supervisor of Hempstead, Long Island's largest town, succeeding Kate Murray, also a Republican, who had held the office since 2003. Murray lost her bid for Nassau County district attorney.
Santino, who defeated Democrat Rita Kestenbaum, 60 percent to 40 percent, was elected to the town council in 1993.
Santino said his agenda is to protect taxpayers and give good value for the tax dollar, to both cut spending and consolidate services where possible, and to eliminate duplicate services. "But fiscal and pocketbook issues are going to be the top priority," he said.
Town of Hempstead voters also re-elected two other Republicans: Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Clerk Nasrin Ahmad. GOP incumbents Bruce Blakeman, Ed Ambrosino, and Erin King Sweeney won seats on the town board.
In Brookhaven's 4th Council District, Republicans made a big push to unseat incumbent Connie Kepert, one of the seven-member town board's two Democrats. Kepert trailed GOP challenger Michael Loguercio by 261 votes, with 460 absentee ballots to be counted.
"I'm not going to concede until the absentee votes are counted," Kepert said in a phone interview, acknowledging, "It's a long shot."
Kepert, the longest-serving current the town board member, had beaten Loguercio by only four votes in 2013, following two months of recounts and court challenges.
North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth was elected to a second term, defeating Anthony Bulzomi, a Carle Place School Board trustee, 67 percent to 32 percent. Bosworth said in an interview, "It's a wonderful opportunity to continue the work that we started . . . "
In North Hempstead, Republican Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio of Port Washington, bested her opponent, Democrat Emily Beys, by 3 percentage points. Beys had $41,227.16 on hand before the election, compared with De Giorgio's $16,059.21.
Democrats Peter Zuckerman and Anna Kaplan were re-elected to council seats, and Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman also was re-elected. Democrats maintained a 5-2 majority on the town board.
Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello defeated Councilman Anthony Gallo, 55 percent to 44 percent. Gallo's running mates, Councilman Efraim Spagnoletti and challenger Roderick Watson, won two seats, while Democrat Michael Famiglietti was the sole council member to lose. The former Democratic stronghold now has only one Democrat on the council.
Spinello said he plans to continue work to revitalize the waterfront and downtown, fight illegal housing and improve the city's finances.
In Smithtown, Councilman Robert Creighton, a conservative, lost to political newcomer Lisa Inzerillo. "I feel that the people made their choice," Creighton said. He had campaigned as a team with Councilman Edward Wehrheim, who won the second seat.
Inzerillo, a Republican, said she was surprised to earn more than 2,000 votes than did Creighton. "It's absolutely surreal," she said.
With Deon J. Hampton, Carl MacGowan, Lauren R. Harrison, David Olson, Sid Cassese and John Asbury