Suozzi has slight lead over Mangano

Tom Suozzi, left, speaks at Democratic headquarters in Tom Suozzi, left, speaks at Democratic headquarters in Uniondale. Ed Mangano at his headquarters in Westbury. The recount to determine of the winner of the heated battle for Nassau County executive begins Monday. (Nov. 3, 2009) Photo Credit: Left: Mahala Gaylord; right: Pablo Corradi

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Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi is in the fight for his political life, as poll results Tuesday night show him with a tiny lead over challenger Edward Mangano.

With all precincts reporting, Suozzi, a Glen Cove Democrat, leads Mangano, a Republican from Bethpage, by 237 votes, according to the Nassau Board of Elections. The two contenders traded the lead back and forth throughout the night as elections officials counted votes.

While the Suozzi-Mangano race headlines Long Island's election night, voters were to decide winners in a variety of county, town and city races.

Local candidates spent the day closely monitoring turnout, which political leaders expected to reach about 30 percent in Nassau County and 23 percent in Suffolk.

Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs forecast trouble for Suozzi at 6 p.m., when he said more voters than he hoped were turning out in the county's GOP districts, while traditionally Democratic precincts were not meeting expectations.

"I just don't see Democrats coming out the way we would have liked," Jacobs said. "It doesn't mean anything terrible for the results, but it doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling right now."

Nassau Democrats also appeared to lose control of the Legislature, with Legis. Jeff Toback (D-Oceanside) badly trailing Republican Howard Kopel of Lawrence with only one election district left to be counted.

VOTING RESULTS: Click here to see the most recent election results

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PHOTOS: Click here to see the latest photos of voters and politicians at the polls

In Nassau's other competitive races, Legis. John Ciotti (R-North Valley Stream) appeared to defeat Democratic challenger Nina Petraro Bastardi of Valley Stream. Legis. Joseph Scannell (D-Baldwin) was leading his challenger, Republican Christian Browne of Rockville Centre.

Suffolk Democratic chairman Richard Schaffer said turnout there would be about 23 percent, near pre-election estimates. Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Mondello couldn't be reached.

Schaffer said turnout in Suffolk is running one percentage point higher than it did in 2007, when County Executive Steve Levy ran without major-party opposition.

"We're happy with what's going on so far," he said.

In the other big Nassau race, District Attorney Kathleen Rice, a Democrat, will defeat Republican Joy Watson.

In Suffolk, District Attorney Thomas Spota, Sheriff Vincent DeMarco and Treasurer Angie Carpenter were all re-elected without opposition, thanks to a four-party cross-endorsement deal. Nassau Comptroller Howard Weitzman, a Democrat, trails Republican George Maragos by about 3,100 votes. Republican County Clerk Maureen O'Connell defeated Democrat Carrie Solages.

All 19 Nassau legislators and all 18 Suffolk legislators were up for re-election.

With about half the votes counted in Suffolk's 10th District, Republican Thomas Cilmi held a healthy lead over Democrat Patrick Nolan and Conservative Timothy Molnar. The three sought the open seat being vacated by Legis. Cameron Alden (R-Islip).

In the 11th District, Legis. Thomas Barraga (R-West Islip) defeated Democrat Jim Alcus.

And Suffolk Legis. Brian Beedenbender (D-Centereach) trails former police union official Thomas Muratore, a Republican, by 2 percentage points with only one election district left to be counted.

Voters re-elected Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone, Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko, Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone, North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, Shelter Island Supervisor James Dougherty and Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio. Riverhead Supervisor Phil Cardinale, a Democrat, lost to Republican Sean Walter and Southampton Supervisor Linda Kabot, a Republican, lost to Democrat Anna Throne-Holst. In East Hampton, Republican Bill Wilkinson defeated Democrat Ben Zwirn.

Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi was re-elected.

There also were two proposals for state Constitutional amendments. One would give state forest land in St. Lawrence County to National Grid to build a power line in exchange for privately owned old-growth forest. The other would allow state prisoners to volunteer for nonprofit organizations.

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared to win a third term. Bloomberg, an Independent candidate running on the Republican and Independence Party lines, defeated Democrat William Thompson, the city comptroller, though the margin was far less than anticipated. City residents also elected Bill De Blasio as public advocate and John Liu as comptroller.

In the North Country's 23rd Congressional District, a raucous campaign to replace former Rep. John McHugh came to a close. Democrat Bill Owens leads Conservative Douglas Hoffmann by four percentage points with two-thirds of the vote counted. The GOP candidate, Assemb. Dede Scozzafava (R-Gouverneur), dropped out of the race on Saturday and endorsed Owens.

Voters in New Jersey ousted Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine and replaced him with GOP challenger Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, according to The Associated Press. In the Virginia governor's race, Attorney General Robert McDonnell, a Republican, defeated state Sen. Creigh Deeds, a Democrat.

VOTING RESULTS: Click here to see the most recent election results

PHOTOS: Click here to see the latest photos of voters and politicians at the polls

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