Democrat Dave Calone, left, and Republican Ed Romaine debated at Newsday in Melville...

Democrat Dave Calone, left, and Republican Ed Romaine debated at Newsday in Melville on Oct. 10. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Candidates in this year's Suffolk County executive race spent a record amount — nearly $6 million — as Democrat Dave Calone outspent the winner, Republican Ed Romaine, by a margin of 2 to 1, new campaign finance filings show.

Romaine raised about $2.2 million and spent $1.9 million in the Nov. 7 election, according to campaign finance reports filed Dec. 4. Calone raised about $3.1 million, personally lent his campaign $750,000 and spent just under $4 million on the race. 

Romaine received 57% of the vote to Calone’s 43% in the race to replace Steve Bellone, a Democrat who is term-limited after 12 years. The four-year term has an annual salary of $241,409.

Spending eclipsed the $4.1 million spent in Suffolk's most recent county executive race four years ago. Bellone spent $3.4 million as he won a final term in 2019. His opponent, Republican John Kennedy, spent $713,933.

Suffolk County Republican Chairman Jesse Garcia, who oversaw Romaine’s campaign, said Romaine's position as Brookhaven Town supervisor since 2012 and his pro-law-enforcement message resonated with voters enough to overcome his fundraising disadvantage.

“I think that we had the most experienced, the better candidate overall,” Garcia said.

Calone, CEO of a private equity firm and a former state and federal prosecutor, said the election results came down to how voters felt about the Democratic Party.

“We raised the money to get the message out,” Calone said. “I think it was more of a party thing, quite frankly.”

Turnout favored Republicans across Long Island on Election Day, and independent voters likely swung Republican, political analysts have said.

In Suffolk, where Republicans have made significant gains in recent years, 35.2% of Republicans voted, compared with 27.8% of Democrats and 16.7% of unaffiliated voters, according to election board data.

Romaine had about $516,195 in his campaign account and Calone had about $847 as of Dec. 4, according to filings covering the period between Oct. 24 and Nov. 30. Romaine spent $567,683 in that period and Calone spent $630,473.

The new reports show both received substantial donations in the final days of the campaign. Romaine received $25,000 from the Lake Success-based Broadridge Financial Solutions PAC on Nov. 6; $20,000 from Mohamed Gumery of Brooklyn on Nov. 2; and $15,000 from Bolla Oil Corp. CEO Harvinder Singh on Nov. 2.

Romaine spent $282,460 on digital ads and just under $200,000 on television ads during that time.

Calone received $25,000 from his friend and former college classmate, Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, on Oct. 25. Calone received the same amount from philanthropist Marilyn Simons on Oct. 26.

Calone's biggest expenses in late October and early November were a combined $424,000 to Chicago-based Technicolor Political for TV ads.

Calone spent about $2.24 million on TV ads during the nine-month campaign — more than Romaine raised throughout the race.

Romaine’s largest expenditure was $998,000 to Patchogue-based Public Relations & Marketing Group for TV ads in September and October.

A review of Romaine’s campaign contributions shows some of his largest donations came from vendors who do business in Brookhaven Town.

Gershow Recycling owner Sam Gershowitz and William J. Haugland, CEO of the civil engineering firm Haugland Group, each contributed $50,000, the largest allowable amount.

Gershow, with several sites on Long Island and Brooklyn, is headquartered in Brookhaven. The town is home to Long Island’s largest landfill and is the only municipal facility that accepts construction debris.

Haugland Group in April was awarded a $200 million contract from developers of the offshore Sunrise Wind project to build a 17.5-mile cable from Smith Point to Holbrook. Romaine was a major supporter of the project.

Fellow Republicans such as Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro, Brookhaven Town Supervisor-elect Dan Panico and Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter each gave Romaine $50,000.

The Long Island Law Enforcement Foundation, the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association’s political action committee, spent more than $1.1 million supporting various Suffolk County races in 2023. In the final weeks of the county executive campaign, the PAC spent more than $520,000 on items such as Romaine ads and billboards. A spokesman for the PAC did not respond to a request for comment.

Advancing Suffolk, an outside political action committee that backed Calone, spent about $855,000, campaign finance reports show.

Candidates in this year's Suffolk County executive race spent a record amount — nearly $6 million — as Democrat Dave Calone outspent the winner, Republican Ed Romaine, by a margin of 2 to 1, new campaign finance filings show.

Romaine raised about $2.2 million and spent $1.9 million in the Nov. 7 election, according to campaign finance reports filed Dec. 4. Calone raised about $3.1 million, personally lent his campaign $750,000 and spent just under $4 million on the race. 

Romaine received 57% of the vote to Calone’s 43% in the race to replace Steve Bellone, a Democrat who is term-limited after 12 years. The four-year term has an annual salary of $241,409.

Spending eclipsed the $4.1 million spent in Suffolk's most recent county executive race four years ago. Bellone spent $3.4 million as he won a final term in 2019. His opponent, Republican John Kennedy, spent $713,933.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Candidates in this year's Suffolk County executive race spent nearly $6 million.
  • Republican Ed Romaine, the winner, spent $1.9 million in the Nov. 7 election, while Democrat Dave Calone spent just under $4 million, campaign finance filings show.
  • In the 2019 county executive race, candidates Steve Bellone and John Kennedy spent a total of $4.1 million.

Suffolk County Republican Chairman Jesse Garcia, who oversaw Romaine’s campaign, said Romaine's position as Brookhaven Town supervisor since 2012 and his pro-law-enforcement message resonated with voters enough to overcome his fundraising disadvantage.

“I think that we had the most experienced, the better candidate overall,” Garcia said.

Calone, CEO of a private equity firm and a former state and federal prosecutor, said the election results came down to how voters felt about the Democratic Party.

“We raised the money to get the message out,” Calone said. “I think it was more of a party thing, quite frankly.”

Turnout favored GOP

Turnout favored Republicans across Long Island on Election Day, and independent voters likely swung Republican, political analysts have said.

In Suffolk, where Republicans have made significant gains in recent years, 35.2% of Republicans voted, compared with 27.8% of Democrats and 16.7% of unaffiliated voters, according to election board data.

Romaine had about $516,195 in his campaign account and Calone had about $847 as of Dec. 4, according to filings covering the period between Oct. 24 and Nov. 30. Romaine spent $567,683 in that period and Calone spent $630,473.

The new reports show both received substantial donations in the final days of the campaign. Romaine received $25,000 from the Lake Success-based Broadridge Financial Solutions PAC on Nov. 6; $20,000 from Mohamed Gumery of Brooklyn on Nov. 2; and $15,000 from Bolla Oil Corp. CEO Harvinder Singh on Nov. 2.

Romaine spent $282,460 on digital ads and just under $200,000 on television ads during that time.

Calone received $25,000 from his friend and former college classmate, Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, on Oct. 25. Calone received the same amount from philanthropist Marilyn Simons on Oct. 26.

Calone's biggest expenses in late October and early November were a combined $424,000 to Chicago-based Technicolor Political for TV ads.

Calone spent about $2.24 million on TV ads during the nine-month campaign — more than Romaine raised throughout the race.

Big-ticket expenditures for TV

Romaine’s largest expenditure was $998,000 to Patchogue-based Public Relations & Marketing Group for TV ads in September and October.

A review of Romaine’s campaign contributions shows some of his largest donations came from vendors who do business in Brookhaven Town.

Gershow Recycling owner Sam Gershowitz and William J. Haugland, CEO of the civil engineering firm Haugland Group, each contributed $50,000, the largest allowable amount.

Gershow, with several sites on Long Island and Brooklyn, is headquartered in Brookhaven. The town is home to Long Island’s largest landfill and is the only municipal facility that accepts construction debris.

Haugland Group in April was awarded a $200 million contract from developers of the offshore Sunrise Wind project to build a 17.5-mile cable from Smith Point to Holbrook. Romaine was a major supporter of the project.

Fellow Republicans such as Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro, Brookhaven Town Supervisor-elect Dan Panico and Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter each gave Romaine $50,000.

The Long Island Law Enforcement Foundation, the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association’s political action committee, spent more than $1.1 million supporting various Suffolk County races in 2023. In the final weeks of the county executive campaign, the PAC spent more than $520,000 on items such as Romaine ads and billboards. A spokesman for the PAC did not respond to a request for comment.

Advancing Suffolk, an outside political action committee that backed Calone, spent about $855,000, campaign finance reports show.

Jets radio changing stations … Landfill violations … Strawberry on Mets season  Credit: Newsday

PSEG arson indictments ... New redistricting map ... Jets radio changing stations ... $7M Center Moriches home

Jets radio changing stations … Landfill violations … Strawberry on Mets season  Credit: Newsday

PSEG arson indictments ... New redistricting map ... Jets radio changing stations ... $7M Center Moriches home

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