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Jericho Fire District’s tie vote leads to another election

It’s now down to two candidates for one commissioner’s seat in the Jericho fire district.

Last week’s election ended in a tie between two of the four candidates. So the district must now have another election within 45 days to fill the seat for the five-year term.

“We presently have a tie, and by law we have 45 days to have another election,” Ted Ketsoglou, chairman elect of the board of commissioners, said on Friday.

District officials went to the Nassau Board of Elections Friday after the Dec. 8 contest left Frank Sammartano with 114 votes, Paolo Pironi with 115, Robert Betman with 50 and David Mumunafo with 72, with about 20 absentee ballots in question, Ketsoglou said.

Fire district officials had some questions as to whether the absentee ballots were from registered voters, Ketsoglou said. After the ballots were opened, the BOE found that some of the ballots went to the two lowest vote getters while others were disqualified.

One absentee ballot vote went to Sammartano, gave him 115 votes to tie with Pironi.

The seat they are vying for is that of current chairman, Arthur Kroll, who had planned to step down after 35 years of service at the end of this year. Ketsoglou said Kroll will remain as a commissioner until his replacement is determined.

Pironi, 28, said he has been with the department for 10 years and hopes to bring a fresh, young perspective to it. He said he is hardworking, has sound financial judgment and loves community service.

“I feel confident,” Pironi said. “We both put up a good battle.”

Sammartano could not be immediately reached.

Ketsoglou said the election will be in early January.

In other races:

Wading River Fire District incumbent Michael Harrigan was defeated by challenger James Meier, 348 to 286.

The winner in the Oceanside Fire District election was Vincent Staffa, who defeated Thomas Pellegrino, 496 to 388, for an open five-year seat.

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