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GOP incumbent's seat on Smithtown board in jeopardy

Robert Creighton, seen here on July 15, 2015,

Robert Creighton, seen here on July 15, 2015, is running for re-election to the Smithtown Town board. Credit: Audrey C. Tiernan / Audrey C. Tiernan

Newcomer Lisa M. Inzerillo defeated Councilman Robert J. Creighton last week in Smithtown's Republican primary for town council, according to preliminary election results.

Inzerillo received 1,292 votes, while Creighton, who was endorsed by the Smithtown GOP, received 1,149 votes. Councilman Edward R. Wehrheim was the top vote-earner with 1,673 votes in the race for two council seats, and he will move on to the general election in November. (There were 17 write-in votes.)

"I was disappointed there was a very poor turnout," Creighton said in an interview Friday. "We -- my people -- did not get the vote out."

Creighton, who was elected to the board in 2007, said he planned to run for re-election on three other lines -- Conservative, Independent and Reform party.

Inzerillo thanked her supporters in a written statement. "This grassroots campaign, fueled by family and friends, has inspired and humbled me and I am ready to represent the Republican Party in November," she said in the statement.

Wehrheim, who was elected to the board in 2003, said Friday that he was pleased with his top primary position. He said he hopes Creighton will prevail over Inzerillo after absentee ballots are counted Thursday.

"I have an excellent working relationship with Councilman Creighton . . . certainly it would be disappointing for me if he was to leave," Wehrheim said. "That being said, I've worked with many, many council people over my three terms, and whichever candidate is placed in office, I fully intend to work with them as I always have."

Smithtown GOP chairman Bill Ellis, who is also deputy commissioner of the Suffolk County Board of Elections, said 228 absentee ballots had been received by the board of elections by Friday afternoon and that he expects more to trickle in.

"As long as they were postmarked by Sept. 9, then they are valid," he said.

Ellis said Creighton still has a chance to win due to the party's "aggressive absentee ballot campaign."

There was a low turnout at the polls Thursday as a result of the "horrendous weather," said Ellis. "I think we lost a lot of our votes because of that."

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