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Long IslandPolitics

Edwards wins Dem race, Smithtown GOP contest too close

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio arrives at the Watermill

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio arrives at the Watermill Catering Hall Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Credit: John Roca

In Suffolk County, Smithtown’s Republican primary for town supervisor was too close to call late Tuesday, while Huntington Town Councilwoman Tracey A. Edwards won that town’s Democratic primary for supervisor.

Edwards defeated newcomer Darryl R. St. George, clearing the way for her to run against Assemb. Chad Lupinacci (R-Huntington) for the municipality’s top seat in November.

“We must work together to advance our Democratic and progressive goals,” Edwards said late Tuesday. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work with anyone and everyone who shares the values that have made Huntington a welcoming and forward thinking community.”

Edwards, 55, of Dix Hills, will run on the Independence, Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines in the general election.

In Smithtown, uncertainty ruled in the race between GOP choice Edward Wehrheim and incumbent Patrick Vecchio — the longest serving executive in New York State.

Vecchio, 86, of Fort Salonga, was trailing by fewer than 100 votes. He is fighting for what would be his 14th term as town supervisor, the office he has held since 1978.

“I never thought it would be this close,” Vecchio said.

Wehrheim, 69, of Kings Park, is a four-term Smithtown Town Board member who is making his first bid for the supervisor’s job.

More than 300 absentee ballots were still outstanding, and election officials said absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday and arrive at the board of elections by Sept. 19.

Four Suffolk County Legislative districts had primary races this year, including a tense competition among Democrats in the 9th Legislative District.

In that race, incumbent Monica Martinez succeeded in keeping her seat from Angela Ramos, wife of Assemb. Phil Ramos.

The Ramoses both had backed Martinez when she first ran four years ago, but Angela Ramos decided to run against the incumbent and spent much of the campaign arguing that her opponent did not do enough to represent the district.

“It was a tough race,” Martinez said late Tuesday. “The community was taken by surprise knowing it was a race between myself and the wife of the assemblyman . . . but my constituents pulled through.”

In the 11th District, Islip Town board member Steve Flotteron, whom the Islip GOP named as its candidate for term-limited Suffolk County Legis. Tom Barraga’s seat, defeated Barraga’s son-in law, Michael McElwee, 42, a Bay Shore bar and restaurant owner.

“I’m very excited,” Flotteron said.

In the 6th District, which includes northeast Brookhaven Town, GOP designee Gary Pollakusky defeated Republican Frank Vetro late Tuesday. The men were competing for a chance to run against Democratic incumbent Legis. Sarah Anker, who will be seeking a third term in November.

Other primaries:

Smithtown clerk: Vincent A. Puleo defeated Conrad A. Chayes Sr.

Smithtown Council (vote for 2): Lynne C. Nowick and Thomas J. McCarthy defeated Robert P. Doyle and Thomas Lohmann

— Democratic Party

East Hampton Council (vote for 2): Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and Jeffrey Bragman defeated Zachary Cohen

— Independence Party

County Legislature, 18th District: Dominic R. Spada defeated William R. Spencer

— Women’s Equality Party

Brookhaven Town clerk: Donna Lent held the lead over Cindy Morris

— Green Party

Huntington council: The race between Oskar Bros and James P. White was too close to call.

With Deborah S. Morris, Rick Brand and Nicholas Spangler

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