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Long IslandPolitics

2 LI Assembly incumbents unseated early Wednesday

Assemb. Christine Pellegrino (D-West Islip) lost to challenger Michael LiPetri, and Assemb. Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook) was defeated by Judy Griffin.

On Wednesday, Newsday columnist Joye Brown and political editor Jack Sirica recapped election night results. (Credit: Newsday / Arnold Miller)

Two Long Island state Assembly members were defeated by their challengers early Wednesday, while other incumbents in the chamber appeared headed toward victory in races across Nassau and Suffolk counties.

By 1 a.m., Assemb. Christine Pellegrino (D-West Islip) lost to challenger Michael LiPetri in the 9th District, and Assemb. Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook) was unseated by Judy Griffin in Nassau's 21st District, according to initial results from the Board of Elections in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Griffin, of Rockville Centre, declared victory shortly before 11:30 p.m.

"I just want to thank you all for this opportunity, and I'm grateful Nassau County in [District] 21 realized someone else can do much better," Griffin said at an election results party in Garden City.

If LiPetri, of South Farmingdale, wins the seat, it would return to GOP control a district where the party has an 11,300-person advantage in active registered voters. Pellegrino won a special election last year.

LiPetri did not respond to a request for comment.

Twenty-one of Long Island’s 22 Assembly districts held competitive elections Tuesday, with only Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) running unopposed.

Two districts hosted races for open seats, including Nassau's 18th Assembly District, where Democrat Taylor Raynor of Hempstead declared victory over Republican James Lamarre of Lakeview for the post long held by Democrat Earlene Hooper. Raynor bested Hooper, the deputy Assembly speaker, in an upset election in the September primary.

“This was a long time coming," Raynor said at the Garden City event. She thanked district voters for "deciding enough is enough."

In Suffolk County's 3rd Assembly District, Republican Joseph De Stefano of Medford was leading Democrat Clyde Parker of Bellport by midnight for the seat left open when Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) announced he would run for State Senate.

Results in Long Island’s Assembly races won't tip the balance of power in the chamber, where Democrats held a 104-41 majority before Tuesday. Republicans held 12 of Long Island’s Assembly seats, while Democrats held nine. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) also has caucused with Democrats.

With Rachelle Blidner

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