Republicans appeared headed to a resounding victory in the Suffolk County Legislature early Wednesday, tossing out top Democratic leaders and taking control of the 18-seat body.
The GOP was on its way to flipping at least four seats, and ejecting the presiding officer and the Democratic majority leader, according to election results about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. The deputy presiding officer, another Democrat, was fighting a close race to hang on to her seat.
Democrats Sarah Anker, Rob Calarco, Susan Berland and Mark Cutherbertson appeared to have lost their bids, according to the results, which included most or all districts reporting. Democrat Kara Hahn was ahead of Salvatore SB Isabella in a close race.
If the Republicans prevail, it would amount to a major victory over Democrats. Calarco is the presiding officer of the legislature, Hahn is the deputy presiding officer, and Berland is the Democratic majority leader.
Going into Tuesday, Democrats held 10 seats to the Republicans' seven, and the Conservative Party's one.
Two districts — the 10th and 18th — were set to have new representatives because of open seats. One had been previously held by a Democrat and the other by a Republican.
Besides those races, 16 incumbent county legislators were fighting to hold onto their seats for another two-year term.
Polls closed at 9 p.m.
Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) was term-limited in the 10th District, while Legis. William (Doc) Spencer (D-Centerport) did not seek reelection in the 18th as he faces criminal charges for allegedly trying to trade drugs for sexual favors. Spencer has pleaded not guilty.
In the race to replace Cilmi, Republican Trish Bergin-Weichbrodt, who is term-limited as an Islip Town Council member, held a solid lead over Democrat Carla Simpson, a banker.
In the contest to replace Spencer, Republican Stephanie Bontempi, a private school teacher, was ahead of Democratic Huntington Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson.
Legis. Nicholas Caracappa (C-Selden), in the 4th District, won his bid for reelection against Democrat Dawn Marie Sharrock, a member of the Middle Country school board.
Caracappa, who is cross-endorsed by the Republican and Conservative parties, is facing felony domestic violence charges following his arrest last year. He has pleaded not guilty.
In a rematch of a May special election in the 3rd District, incumbent Republican Jim Mazzarella defeated former Suffolk County Legis. Kate Browning, a Democrat who was term-limited in 2017.
Browning’s campaign faced legal challenges by county Republicans who assert that Suffolk County term-limit laws, which limit county elected officials to 12 consecutive years in office, made her ineligible to hold the seat again.
An appellate court panel sided with Browning, ruling the county law does not impose a lifetime term limit.
Mazzarella won the special election, replacing former Republican Legis. Rudy Sunderman, who resigned in March shortly before pleading guilty to misdemeanor filing of a false financial disclosure form with the county ethics board.
In the 13th District, Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), a frequent critic of county police unions and other government officials, beat Democrat Kevin Mulholland and Conservative Michael Simonelli, a Suffolk County police officer.
In early results in the races:
District 1: Incumbent Democrat Al Krupski defeated Republican Remy Bell.
District 2: Incumbent Democrat Bridget Fleming was ahead of Republican Robert Carpenter.
District 3: Incumbent Republican James Mazzarella defeated Democrat Kate Browning.
District 4: Incumbent Republican/Conservative Nicholas Caracappa defeated Democrat Dawn Marie Sharrock.
District 5: Incumbent Democrat Kara Hahn was narrowly leading Republican Salvatore Isabella.
District 6: Incumbent Democrat Sara Anker was behind Republican Brendan Sweeney and Conservative Anthony De Simone.
District 7: Incumbent Democrat Robert Calarco was losing to Republican Dominick Thorne.
District 8: Incumbent Republican Anthony Piccirillo defeated Democrat Peter Russo.
District 9: Incumbent Democrat Samuel Gonzalez defeated Republican Maxima Castro.
District 10: Republican Trish Bergin-Weichbrodt had solid lead over Democrat Carla Simpson for an open seat.
District 11: Incumbent Republican Steven Flotteron defeated Democrat Astrid Fidelia.
District 12: Incumbent Republican Leslie Kennedy defeated Democrat Michael Siderakis.
District 13: Incumbent Republican Robert Trotta defeated Conservative Michael Simonelli and Democrat Kevin Mulholland.
District 14: Incumbent Republican Kevin McCaffrey had the edge over Democrat Nancy Delaney.
District 15: Incumbent Democrat Jason Richberg was leading Republican Jarod Morris.
District 16: Incumbent Democrat Susan Berland was behind Republican Manuel Esteban Sr.
District 17: Incumbent Democrat Thomas Donnelly was leading Republican Stephen Becker.
District 18: Democrat Mark Cuthbertson was behind Republican Stephanie Bontempi for an open seat.