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Long IslandPolitics

Spinello maintains slight lead over challenger in Glen Cove

Members of the Nassau County Board of Elections

Members of the Nassau County Board of Elections count absentee and affidavit ballots in the Glen Cove mayoral race. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello’s lead in his re-election bid narrowed Friday from 21 votes to 13, after the Nassau County Board of Elections counted 310 absentee and affidavit ballots.

The results won’t be finalized until after Thanksgiving. Attorneys for Spinello, an Independence Party member who also ran on the Republican line, and Timothy Tenke, a Democratic city councilman, challenged 64 ballots, said Essma Benkhoukha, chief clerk of the elections board.

In the close race for a City Council seat, Democrat Marsha Silverman widened her lead over Republican Matthew Connolly.

A Supreme Court judge in Nassau County is expected to start reviewing the 64 ballots on Nov. 27. Typical challenges include ballot signatures that are alleged not to match the signatures on file.

Spinello had 2,760 votes and Tenke had 2,747 after Friday’s count, Benkhoukha said.

Both candidates had victory in their sights.

“If you look at 310 ballots and I lost eight votes — I think I’m in pretty good shape,” said Spinello, adding he is confident he will prevail. “I’m ahead by 13 votes.”

Tenke said “it’s still a very, very close race . . . Certainly there are enough ballots out there to make up the difference. I’m still confident.”

The Republican attorney challenged 35 ballots, and the Democratic lawyer challenged 29, Tenke said.

This is the second time in three Glen Cove mayoral elections that the result came down to absentee and affidavit ballots. In 2013, Spinello, then a city councilman, beat incumbent Democrat Ralph Suozzi by 74 votes.

Spinello in 2015 beat Councilman Anthony Gallo, a Republican running on the independent Glen Cove United line, 55 percent to 44 percent. Spinello ran on the Democratic, GOP, Independence, Conservative and Reform lines. This year, the Democrats declined to slate him and instead chose Tenke, who also ran on the Working Families and Women’s Equality lines.

In the race for the last of six City Council seats, Silverman increased her lead over Connolly from 15 votes to 21. She now has 2,403 votes, and Connolly has 2,382. Republicans, including incumbents Pamela Panzenbeck, Joseph Capobianco and Nicholas DiLeo Jr., had the five highest vote totals.

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