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Glen Cove incumbent last in primary, unofficial results show

Roderick Watson, the lone incumbent in Tuesday's Democratic

Roderick Watson, the lone incumbent in Tuesday's Democratic Glen Cove City Council primary was in last place out of seven candidates vying for six seats, preliminary results show. Watson is shown in Aug. 15, 2015. Credit: James Escher

Incumbent Glen Cove City Councilman Roderick Watson is losing his bid to appear as a major-party candidate on the November general election ballot, unofficial results from Tuesday’s Democratic primary show.

Watson was in last place among the seven candidates vying for six Democratic spots on the ballot, trailing sixth-place finisher Marcela De La Fuente by three votes, with some absentee and other ballots remaining to be counted. But only 46 votes separate Watson, with 545 votes, from the top vote-getter, Annie Phillips, who received 591 votes.

Even if Watson fails to succeed in the Democratic primary, he will be on the November general election ballot on the Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines.

Watson, first elected in 2015, switched his registration from the Republican to Democratic Party last year.

Watson did not return calls for comment. Phillips, who campaigned with Watson, said some Democrats may have been reluctant to vote for someone who was elected as a Republican.

The one candidate who was not slated by the party, Marsha Silverman, was in second place, with 581 votes, unofficial results show. Silverman and Phillips are plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to block construction of the Garvies Point waterfront development. They said the primary results indicate Glen Cove voters are looking for change and independent voices.

“I really believe the fact that I stood up and spoke out on behalf of the public time and time again on many issues — people recognized that and see that I will be their advocate,” said Silverman, who regularly speaks at City Council meetings.

The other Democratic candidates also oppose aspects of Garvies Point, especially the more than $200 million in tax breaks awarded to developer RXR Glen Isle Partners.

Mayor Reginald Spinello, a Garvies Point supporter and an Independence Party member also running for re-election on the Republican line, said the low Democratic primary turnout indicated a lack of opposition to Garvies Point and other priorities of his administration.

Less than 13 percent of registered Democrats voted in the primary, according to Nassau County elections figures that do not include absentee ballots and affidavits.

The other Democratic candidates who appear to have gained spots on the November ballot, based on the incomplete results, are Roger Williams, with 562 votes, Andrew Bennett, with 558, and Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews, with 557.

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