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Legis. Kara Hahn declares victory in Suffolk County's 5th District

Suffolk Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) has declared victory

Suffolk Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) has declared victory in her bid for reelection. Credit: James Carbone

Suffolk County Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) has declared victory in her reelection bid for the 5th District against Republican Salvatore SB Isabella.

Hahn and Isabella were locked in a tight race on election night, with the incumbent ahead by 74 votes, according to unofficial election results.

Hahn, 50, the deputy presiding officer, pulled ahead once more than 1,000 absentee ballots were counted, her campaign said Thursday night, projecting she will have more than 52% of the vote.

Elections officials will have final results after affidavit ballots are counted starting this week.

"I’m honored to have the ongoing support of the community where I grew up and have served for the last decade," Hahn said in a statement. "I look forward to continuing to deliver results on issues that can make a meaningful impact in the day-to-day lives of working families in this community."

Isabella, a Brookhaven Town parks department laborer, did not actively campaign.

Suffolk County Republican chairman Jesse Garcia said the GOP devoted resources to the race and he was "very proud" of Isabella's results as a candidate. Hahn had a "minuscule margin of victory" in a largely Democratic district, he said.

"She was fortunate in this race, but I believe it is a harbinger of what she is going to be facing in any future endeavors," said Garcia, who also works at the Suffolk Board of Elections as a GOP Hispanic outreach coordinator.

A former majority leader, Hahn, has represented north-central Brookhaven Town, including Setauket and Port Jefferson, since 2012.

Hahn is also running against fellow Suffolk legislator Bridget Fleming of Noyack in the 2022 Democratic primary for the First Congressional District seat. Both hope to replace Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who has announced a gubernatorial bid. Republicans have not yet nominated a First District candidate, Garcia said.

Hahn will be the only Democratic legislative leader to retain her seat as a red wave gave Republicans control of the 18-seat legislature for the first time since 2005. Presiding Officer Robert Calarco (D-Patchogue) and Majority Leader Susan Berland (D-Dix Hills) were defeated by Republican challengers Dominick Thorne, a Suffolk County Board of Elections worker, and Manuel Esteban, a staff attorney at the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The Republican caucus will have at least 11 seats, including Nicholas Caracappa (C-Selden), which will give the party control of county spending, bonding and jobs.

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