Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon
Long IslandPolitics

LI Republicans express confidence in Congress votes

On Wednesday, Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said he was

On Wednesday, Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said he was counting on outstanding Democratic absentee ballots to put him over the top in the 3rd Congressional District race against Republican George Santos. Credit: Jim Staubitser

Republicans in the 1st and 2nd congressional districts said they were confident Wednesday they have enough votes to win — even after mail-in ballots are counted — as their Democratic challengers awaited a full count and declined to concede.

In the 1st District in Suffolk County, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) declared victory late Tuesday over Stony Brook chemist Nancy Goroff.

Unofficial results showed Zeldin with 176,317 votes, or 61%, and Goroff with 111,188, or 39%, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

As of Tuesday, district voters had returned 75,091 absentee ballots: 35,177 from enrolled Democrats, 17,516 from Republicans and 18,017 from voters not affiliated with a political party. The remainder are from members of minor parties.

Absentee ballots are to be counted if they are delivered in-person by Election Day to the county board of elections, or postmarked by Election Day and received by Nov. 10.

In the 2nd District, which includes parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties, state Assemb. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bayport) led former Babylon Town Council member Jackie Gordon, a Democrat, by 45,797 votes, according to unofficial tallies from both counties.

Veteran Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) is retiring from the seat.

Voters in the Suffolk portion of the district returned a total of 36,570 absentee ballots: 17,877 from Democrats, 8,463 from Republicans and 8,318 from unaffiliated voters, with the balance from minor party members.

In the Nassau section — about 25% of the district — 17,944 absentee ballots were returned: 7,579 from Democrats; 5,572 from Republicans and 3,990 from unaffiliated voters, with the rest from minor party members.

"We feel very good. We had great support all over the district," Garbarino said Wednesday outside his home in Bayport.

Not long afterward, Gordon posted on Twitter: "With the unprecedented number of Long Islanders casting absentee ballots, it is clear that this election will not be called anytime soon. Every vote must be counted and every vote matters. Democracy will prevail."

Suffolk Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer said Zeldin and Garbarino, "can do whatever they want, but it is going to come down to when all the votes are counted."

Schaffer said Democratic candidates in the 1st and 2nd Districts will "concede if they lose."

"This is a unique year because of COVID and we need to respect everyone's right to vote and everyone's right to have their vote counted," Schaffer said.

Jesse Garcia, the Suffolk Republican Party leader, said he believed his candidates were "in an outstanding position, if not a definite position." He said he did not believe the number of absentee ballots would give Democrats enough votes for victory.

Nassau Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Cairo said while some absentee votes were outstanding, he was confident Garbarino would win in the 2nd District.

In the 3rd District, which covers parts of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, Republican George A.D. Santos, a first-time candidate from Bayside, Queens, led Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) by 4,185 votes — 137,928 to 133,743 — in unofficial returns.


In the Queens portion of the district, a total of 14,340 ballots were returned. Democrats returned 9,353 absentee ballots, Republicans returned 1,736 and unaffiliated voters submitted 2,791.

In the Nassau section of the District, 48,097 absentee ballots were submitted: 25,391 from Democrats, 9,340 from Republicans and 11,621 from unaffiliated voters.

In Suffolk, there were 28,671 absentee ballots returned, including 14,100 from registered Democrats, 6,037 from Republicans and 7,174 from unaffiliated voters.

Suozzi said Wednesday he was confident that the absentee balloting count would break in his favor, given that Democrats had returned nearly 49,000 absentee ballots to about 11,000 for Republicans. Unaffiliated voters submitted more than 21,000 absentee ballots, according to election officials.

Santos also expressed confidence in his prospects.

"It is clear that the out-of-touch agenda and messaging of my opponent is showing," Santos tweeted Wednesday. "#WeThePeople are tired of the status quo, hopeful to see change coming to #NY3."

With Keldy Ortiz, John Asbury and Rachelle Blidner

Latest Long Island News