Sen. Carl Marcellino has won re-election in the 5th Senate District after a count of nearly 12,000 paper ballots, election officials and party leaders confirmed Sunday.
Marcellino (R-Syosset) has an insurmountable 1,534-vote lead over Democrat James Gaughran of Huntington with about 500 objected absentee and affidavit ballots left to be counted, election officials said.
Marcellino is expected to be certified as the winner on Monday, ending the final disputed statewide race of the 2016 election season.
Marcellino, who has represented the district that includes parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties since 1995, said in a statement Saturday that he is “honored and humbled” to be re-elected.
On Election Day, Marcellino, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, had a 2,425-vote lead over Gaughran, who serves as chairman of the Suffolk County Water Authority.
While the paper ballot count narrowed the margin, Nassau Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs concedes that Gaughran had only “an outside chance to overtake Marcellino.”
Ballot-counting in the 5th District began last week after officials certified Democrat John Brooks (D-Seaford) as the winner in the disputed 8th District race over incumbent Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa).
Jacobs said it took election officials less than two days to complete their work in the 5th District while Republicans “delayed” the count in the 8th District for five weeks.
Brooks’ win gave Democrats a numerical majority in the 63-seat Senate. But Senate Republicans continue to hold power, with conservative Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn caucusing with the GOP.
In addition, the seven-member Independent Democratic Conference, which in the past has had a power-sharing arrangement with Senate Republicans, is expected to work with the GOP again to form a working majority in 2017.
“We once again have a majority of Democrats in the chamber, yet Republicans are able to seize power through smoke and mirrors,” Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy said Sunday.
Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif said Saturday that the party would now turn its attention to job creation, school funding and statewide quality-of-life issues.
“Now that the absentee ballots have been counted and Senator Marcellino has been re-elected, it’s time to focus on governing and doing the people’s business,” Reif said.