Polls opening across LI in village elections

(L-R) Candidates Lance Clarke, Trustee Henry Conyers, Theresa (L-R) Candidates Lance Clarke, Trustee Henry Conyers, Theresa Drye, James Garner, Mayor Wayne Hall Sr. and Trustee Perry Pettus. (March 14, 2013) Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

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Voters across Long Island are heading to the polls Tuesday to elect village officials -- mayors, members of boards of trustees and village justices.

Eleven villages have contested elections, highlighted by fiercely contentious races in Hempstead and Freeport, the two most populous villages in the state. More than 30 additional villages have uncontested elections.

Other villages with contested elections are Flower Hill, Mineola, Munsey Park, Saddle Rock and Stewart Manor in Nassau County and Amityville, Greenport, Head of the Harbor and Mastic Beach in Suffolk.

In Freeport, incumbent Mayor Andrew Hardwick is defending his seat against trustee Robert Kennedy, a former running mate. There also are two trustee seats open. Annette Dennis and James Caracciolo are running with Hardwick on the Freeport First Party line, while sitting trustee Carmen PiƱeyro and Ron Ellerbe are on Kennedy's Unity Home Rule Party slate.

The election in Hempstead features seven candidates for mayor, 10 candidates for two trustee positions and five candidates for the village justice position. The mayoral race includes incumbent Wayne J. Hall Sr. on the Moving Forward Party line, trustee Perry M. Pettus on the Pettus Team Party line, Deputy Mayor Henry Conyers on the Village First Party slate, former Mayor James A. Garner on the Unity Party line, former village justice Lance D. Clarke on the Good Government Party ticket, businesswoman and community activist Theresa A. Drye on the Change Now Party line and village employee and former high school star athlete Warren Stith Jr. on the Community Party line.

Polling hours vary by village but most polls close at 9 p.m.

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