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In Southampton, councilwoman edges incumbent for supervisor

In the most closely watched of eight supervisor races in Suffolk, Southampton Town Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst defeated incumbent Republican Linda Kabot, who is facing a drunken driving charge.

Throne-Holst became the first person on the Democratic line to be elected supervisor in the GOP-leaning town since Fred Thiele in 1993.

Kabot, who had unsuccessfully sought an expedited DWI trial before the election, conceded defeat last night.

The Southampton matchup was among the hardest-fought of Suffolk's town supervisor and council races. Here is a rundown.

East Hampton

Republican William "Bill" Wilkinson won a victory over Democrat Ben Zwirn to replace former supervisor William McGintee, who stepped down last month amid a probe into possible misuse of millions in town funds.

With 10 percent of districts reporting, Zwirn conceded about an hour after the polls closed - down by 69 percent to 31.

The main issue was who could get the town out of its multimillion-dollar debt.

However, Wilkinson, a former Disney executive who lost by 104 votes to McGintee two years ago, said there was nothing he could do immediately to change McGintee's 2010 budget.

"That's up to the town board," said Wilkinson from his victory party at the Indian Wells Tavern in Amagansett.

Huntington

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone had an early lead against Republican Challenger Bill Dowler and Conservative Peter Nichols.

Petrone, running for his fifth four-year term, said he started his day at 5 a.m. with campaign volunteers to get out the vote.

"I feel as if tonight will give me my score on the ultimate civil service test," Petrone said.

Dowler has run twice before for the town board but this is his first run for supervisor.

Babylon

In Babylon, incumbent Democratic Supervisor Steve Bellone was expected to be re-elected, fending off a challenge by Republican Stephen DePrima, an Assembly legislative aide.

Bellone, 40, of West Babylon, said he wants to continue his Wyandanch Rising downtown redevelopment initiative, as well as his efforts to reduce the town's debt and payroll.

Islip

In Islip, Republicans wouldn't have been able to assume control of the Town Board, but the GOP had hoped to retain a seat and pick up another on the five-person panel.

Early results showed strong polling by GOP incumbent Steve Flotteron, 47, of Brightwaters, and former TV newswoman Trish Bergin, a political newcomer.

Councilman Christopher Bodkin, 62, of West Sayville, a Republican-turned-Democrat, was seeking a fifth term. Fellow Democrat Jim Morgo, 64, of Bayport, was seeking a first term.

Smithtown

Longtime Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio, a Republican, was leading in early results over one-term Democratic Councilwoman Patricia Biancaniello. Vecchio gave a victory speech last night.

Brookhaven

Control of the Brookhaven Town Board remained up in the air last night. Several tight races were too close to call. Democrats were trying to take back control from Republicans, who hold a 4-3 edge.

"We always knew it was going to be a tough election because we were running against incumbents," Democratic Supervisor Mark Lesko said.

Lesko was leading in early results to be elected to his first full-term with a win over Martin Haley.

Riverhead

Incumbent Supervisor Philip J. Cardinale was behind Republican challenger Sean Walter, early results showed.

Cardinale is trying for his fourth two-year term against GOP opponent Sean Walter. Cardinale said he has taken all the steps needed to help the town's economy. Walter argued that Cardinale has done just about everything wrong, including not building the roads and sewer systems needed at the town-owned Enterprise Park at Calverton.

Shelter Island

No results were available late last night for the Shelter Island supervisor race. Supervisor James Dougherty, a Democrat, had no major party opponent. His opponents, Paul Shepherd and William N. Smith, ran on lines created this year, the Local Liberties and Shelter Island Preservation lines.

With Rick Brand,

Mitchell Freedman

and Stacey Altherr

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