Nassau and Suffolk County residents will head to the polls Tuesday in races for Suffolk County executive, Nassau district attorney and other local offices.
Across Long Island, 318 candidates are running for office after a campaign season that focused on issues such as rising taxes, water quality and the opioid and gang crises.
About 5% of registered voters on Long Island already had cast ballots before Election Day in the first year of early voting in New York, election officials said.
Political strategists and party leaders were watching turnout closely ahead of Election Day, but the results of early voting, which took place between Oct. 26 and Nov. 3, won’t be counted until after polls close on Tuesday under state law.
In Suffolk, County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat, is facing challenges from Suffolk Comptroller John M. Kennedy Jr., a Republican, and Gregory Fischer, who is running on the Libertarian Party line.
The candidates have sparred over the state of the county’s finances, ways to improve water quality and how to retain millennials in Suffolk.
Bellone, who is vying for a third and final term under county term limits, said he has helped turn around county finances.
But Kennedy, a former county legislator, says county finances are in "crisis." He points to a recent state comptroller's report that found Suffolk to be in the most fiscal stress of any county in the state.
In Nassau, District Attorney Madeline Singas, a Democrat, is seeking a second term against challenger Francis X. McQuade, a Republican lawyer.
Singas has highlighted her 28-year career in law enforcement, in which she opened the Nassau district attorney's special crimes unit and founded the domestic violence bureau in the Queens County District Attorney's office.
McQuade said his professional experience — as a police officer, a Roman Catholic priest and a criminal defense and civil rights lawyer — makes him suited for the top prosecutor's job.
Political observers also are closely watching the supervisor's race in Hempstead Town, where Democratic incumbent Laura Gillen — the first Democratic supervisor in a century — is vying for a second term against town Tax Receiver Donald X. Clavin Jr., a Republican. Diane Madden is the Libertarian candidate for supervisor.
Also, Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana, a Democrat, is running for reelection against Republican Kate Murray, a former Hempstead supervisor and Town Clerk.
In Oyster Bay Town, Republican Supervisor Joseph Saladino faces a challenge from Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr., a longtime Republican and former Massapequa Park mayor running on the Democratic line.
Also Tuesday, control of the Nassau and Suffolk County legislatures is at stake. In Nassau, Republicans hold an 11-8 majority, while in Suffolk Democrats have an 11-7 advantage.