Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, two months after losing the Republican primary, was ahead of two rivals Tuesday night as he sought to maintain his seat on the town board.
With all 22 town election districts reporting, Walter, 48, running on the Conservative line, held a 6-point lead over Republican Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, 47, who defeated Walter in the September GOP primary. Democrat Anthony Coates, 54, was running in third place.
Walter claimed victory at Mazi, a restaurant on Riverhead's East Main Street. He thanked God, his family and Conservative and Republican supporters.
"I'm so humbled by this," Walter said, standing on a chair. "I'm so happy that Riverhead put their faith back in me."
Walter's supporters, appearing stunned, chanted "Thank you, Sean" and "Two more years."
Reached by phone, Giglio said she would "sleep on it" before deciding to concede or wait for absentee results.
"I'm very grateful for all the help -- my family, the committee and the voters of the Town of Riverhead," said Giglio, who has two years left on her council term. "I'm going to continue to work hard for every resident. We're going to do great things."
In another race with an incumbent who lost his party primary, Republican Smithtown Councilman Robert Creighton conceded defeat and said he'd not run again for office.
"I lost by a rather substantial margin. I'm not going to wait for a recount. She won," Creighton said, referring to challenger Lisa Inzerillo, who had defeated him in the GOP primary and won one of two town board seats. "The people spoke and that's what it is."
In Southampton, Legis. Jay H. Schneiderman, (I-Southampton), seeking to succeed outgoing town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, had an early lead over Republican Richard Yastrzemski. Throne-Holst, a member of the Independence Party, plans to step down in December to challenge U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) next year.
Town supervisors Edward P. Romaine of Brookhaven, Angie Carpenter of Islip, Larry Cantwell of East Hampton and Scott Russell of Southold led in results just before midnight.
In Shelter Island, Democratic town Supervisor James Dougherty held a 20-point lead over Republican challenger Arthur R. Williams, a former town supervisor, with all four precincts reporting.
In Huntington, embattled Councilman Eugene Cook led four other candidates in the race for two seats on the town board. Cook, an Independence Party member, and his business partners have been accused of code violations at a building they own.
Brookhaven Councilwoman Connie Kepert, a Democrat who held her seat by four votes in 2013, was behind Republican Michael A. Loguercio Jr. by about 300 votes late Tuesday night. She said she plans to review absentee ballots before deciding whether or not to concede.
"I don't know right now. . . . I have no plans yet," she said.
With Will James