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Incumbent Poquott mayor wins re-election as a write-in

Barbara Donovan speaks to village residents during a

Barbara Donovan speaks to village residents during a "Meet the Candidates" event at the Emma S. Clark Library in East Setauket, May 24, 2016. Credit: Daniel Brennan

Poquott Mayor Dolores Parrish has won a new term as leader of the small North Shore village, despite having to run as a write-in candidate after she was removed from the ballot.

The village’s website said Parrish won her second two-year term Tuesday by defeating former Mayor Barbara Donovan. The website did not give vote totals. Voters also elected John Mastauskas and Michael H. Schaefer to two open trustee seats, each carrying a two-year term.

Parrish said in an email that she had outpolled Donovan, 239 to 190. Those numbers could not be confirmed Wednesday.

Mastauskas and Schaefer defeated incumbent trustee Sandra Nicoletti and challengers Joan Hubbard and Gary Garofano, the village website said Wednesday.

Parrish, 48, who had unseated Donovan, 68, in 2014, was thrown off the ballot earlier this month by State Supreme Court Justice W. Gerard Asher due to candidate petitions that contained illegible signatures and other errors. Nicoletti, Garofano and Mastauskas also lost their places on the ballot due to similar mistakes.

Parrish, Nicoletti, Mastauskas and Garofano ran write-in campaigns. Parrish and Donovan did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

Schaefer, 67, who ran as part of a team with Donovan and Hubbard, said the candidates “shook hands and congratulated each other” after village officials finished counting votes early Wednesday morning. He said voter turnout was high, with more than 400 votes cast.

“Obviously, it’s bittersweet. I was hoping that the rest of my team was coming along with me,” said Schaefer, a village planning board member. “I’m proud to be able to serve the village and all the people here. ... What drove me to victory, I’m not sure.”

He said the winners will be sworn in during a reorganizational meeting on July 5 at Village Hall.

The election followed a bitter campaign in which Donovan and her running mates said Parrish and other village board members had ignored residents’ concerns. Donovan had been mayor for 12 years before she lost to Parrish in 2014.

Parrish defended her record and said she had cut costs by recruiting volunteers and donated services.

In her email, Parrish said Schaefer received the most votes in the trustees race with 205, and Mastauskas received 198 votes. They defeated Hubbard (187 votes), Nicoletti (149) and Garofano (82).

Schaefer said he would work with Parrish and Mastauskas, though he had campaigned against them.

“I guess it came down to who the people liked and who the people trusted and who the people listened to,” Schaefer said. “I have no problem working with anybody. I’m here to do good for the village and as long as we all agree on that, we’re going to get along great.”

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