Democrat Steve Bellone won the Suffolk County executive race Tuesday night, piling up a wide lead over Republican Suffolk Treasurer Angie Carpenter, who was seeking to become the first female county executive on Long Island.
Around 12:30 a.m., Bellone, the Babylon Town supervisor, was ahead of Carpenter by 57 to 43 percent with nearly 100 percent of election districts counted.
"Because of your hard work, the voters of Suffolk County have given us a huge victory," Bellone said to cheering supporters at a union headquarters in Hauppauge. He pledged to work with county lawmakers to "create jobs and opportunities," and promised more efficient government in his administration.
"When we create that government and opportunity, it will be accessible to every resident of our county," he said.
Carpenter conceded shortly before midnight.
"This is not the way we envisioned this night ending," she told supporters at the Sheraton Long Island Hotel in Hauppauge.
"We fought the good fight and remained firm in our belief that fiscal sanity must be returned to Suffolk County government and that Suffolk County government must be returned to the people. Tomorrow is a new day and the sun will shine," she said later in a statement. "I will return to my job as treasurer and will continue to do the best job possible for the taxpayers of our county."
In Islip Town, Democratic incumbent Supervisor Phil Nolan was in a neck-and-neck race with most districts counted. In Riverhead, incumbent Supervisor Sean M. Walter, a Republican, beat challenger Phil Cardinale, a Democratic former supervisor.
In Nassau County, control of the legislature remained in doubt as Democrats tried to cut into Republicans' 11-8 advantage. Democrats appeared to pull off an upset in one key race, reducing Republican control to 10-9, but the 14th District race between incumbent Republican Joseph Belesi and Democrat Eva Pearson remained too close to call.
In Nassau's 4th Legislative District, Republican Denise Ford had 51 percent of the vote, with Democratic challenger Darlene Tangney taking 48 percent, after 59 percent of the votes had been tabulated.
In Southampton, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, an Independence Party member, defeated write-in candidate Linda Kabot, a former supervisor.
The supervisor's race in North Hempstead was tight, with incumbent Jon Kaiman, a Democrat, taking 48 percent of the vote to Republican challenger Lee Tu's 40 percent, after about half the electoral districts had reported results.
A major power shift seemed possible in Islip, where Republicans took control of the town board. Democrats currently control the board.
In the Suffolk County executive's race, both Bellone and Carpenter were running in the shadow of lame duck County Executive Steve Levy, who in the past year switched parties, made a losing bid for governor and shocked the local political world by deciding not to seek a third term. Instead, he turned over his $4 million campaign fund to the district attorney after prosecutors raised questions about his fundraising.
In Suffolk, Democrats retained control of the county legislature, though two districts were still close to call.
Local voters were also electing all three town supervisors in Nassau -- in North Hempstead, where Kaiman was battling Tu, and in Hempstead and Oyster Bay, where incumbent Republicans Kate Murray and John Venditto were re-elected -- as well as the mayor and City Council in Glen Cove.
Voters in Long Beach were electing three members to the five-member City Council, which selects the city manager.