Ballot appeal to be heard in Brookhaven council race

Attorneys for Brookhaven Democrat Connie Kepert went to a Brooklyn court Thursday in hopes of reversing a state judge's decision to throw out 11 ballots cast in a town council race in which she trails by four votes.

Kepert, the incumbent who was challenged by Republican Michael A. Loguercio Jr., said in an interview that the state Second Appellate Division panel would hear her appeal Wednesday in Brooklyn.

Kepert said she was "extremely hopeful" that appeals court judges would validate votes that may give her the victory.


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"We are ready to appeal," she said. "I want every vote to count. The will of the voters will prevail."

Her attorneys have said they plan to challenge State Supreme Court Justice Carol MacKenzie's ruling Tuesday that 11 votes cast in the 4th District council race between Kepert and Loguercio were invalid due to "extraneous" markings, questionable signatures and other problems. She ruled 11 other ballots challenged by Republican and Democratic officials were valid and should be counted.

Loguercio, a Longwood school board member, said he was "looking forward to the conclusion of the whole process and serving the people of the 4th District."

" . . . I would have much more enjoyed a longer transition period and an acclimation period. It is what it is."

Meanwhile, Conservative Party candidate Barbara Lynaugh, who sought to unseat 6th District Court Judge Chris A. Kelley, dropped her challenges to 34 ballots cast in the race.

Lynaugh, a Family Court judge who ran with Republican backing, likely would not have gained enough votes from disputed ballots to defeat Kelley, said Lynaugh's attorney, Lee Snead.

Democrats had challenged 19 ballots. Kelley appeared to have a 35-vote lead, attorneys said.

"Mathematically, she could have won," Snead said, referring to Lynaugh. "[But . . .] the way it broke out, it didn't look like that was going to happen, because there were more Republican objections to Democratic votes than there were Democratic challenges to Republican votes."

Kelley's attorney, James Matthews, said he expected the Suffolk Board of Elections to count the remaining 53 ballots today or next week. "There'll be no surprises," Matthews said. "I expect . . . [Kelley's lead] to increase once those votes are counted."

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