First-term incumbent Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren defeated his predecessor, Michael Irving, by a vote of 1,064-604 on Friday in what was likely Long Island’s most contentious mayoral race this year.
"We are honored that the community came out in record numbers to show support, which demonstrates the power of positivity," Warren said in a statement. "Our goal and first priority now is to bring everyone together regardless of how one voted while we focus on our universal platform of revitalizing our business district, investing in the environment, lowering property taxes and including all."
Roy Stevenson and Robin Brown, who had aligned with Warren, both won two-year trustee seats, receiving 996 and 888 votes, respectively. First-term incumbent trustees Mark Parash and Andrew Pilaro, who had aligned with Irving, received 715 and 611 votes, respectively.
Warren had said he was running on his record of addressing pollution in Lake Agawam and revitalizing the village’s downtown.
Warren, who is 38 and owns two boutiques in the village, was a newcomer to village politics when he was elected in 2019. Irving, 67, served as mayor from 2017 until 2019 and spent five years as a trustee and previously served on the village planning board. Fewer than 900 people voted when they ran against one another in 2019, with Warren receiving 450 votes to Irving’s 405.
Irving, who had said he ran again because he has strong family ties to the community and that he has a track record of working with all members of government, congratulated his opponent Friday night.
"I am honored to have received such amazing support from the residents of this village, but in the end we came up short," Irving said in a statement. "I am proud of the race the SV-21 team ran, and strongly believe in our vision for the village. I have spoken to Mayor Warren to congratulate him on his hard-fought victory and offered to help in any way that I can."
The election marked a shift in village politics, with spending from private outside groups on behalf of the candidates that included mailers from the Long Island Law Enforcement Foundation, the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association’s Political Action Committee.
Warren has clashed with the village PBA during his tenure, with the police union last summer holding a vote of no confidence against the mayor, who also serves as police commissioner.