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Garden City voters turn back write-in candidates

Tuesday's village election in Garden City drew a turnout more than three times higher than in recent years and wasn't resolved until Wednesday morning, with the four trustee candidates on the ballot turning back a challenge from two write-in candidates who campaigned against spending and tax increases.

According to village clerk Brian Ridgeway, the three incumbents got the most votes: John J. Watras, 658; Donald T. Brudie, 617; and Nicholas P. Episcopia, 546. Newcomer Brian C. Daughney received 532 votes.

The challengers, longtime residents Ray Rudolph and Ron Tadross, mounted a last-minute campaign pledging to limit spending and reject tax increases above 3 percent. The proposed village budget projects an 8.6-percent tax increase.

Rudolph, who owns a contracting business, got 333 votes. Tadross, a financial analyst, received 342.

About 957 voters cast ballots at Village Hall on Stewart Avenue, a turnout more than three times higher than previous election cycles, Ridgeway said. Recent contests have netted between 200 and 250 voters, he said.

In other results late Tuesday night, Floral Park incumbents Thomas J. Tweedy and James E. Rhatigan were re-elected with 862 and 857 votes, respectively, while write-in challenger Robert Kloepfer garnered 362 votes.

And in Great Neck Plaza, a slate of incumbents - Mayor Jean Celender and trustees Ted Rosen and Pamela Marksheid - won re-election. The challengers - Stuart Hochron, for mayor, and trustee candidates Michael Glickman and Scott Schwartz - said during the campaign that revitalizing the village's downtown depends on making parking more accessible.


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