The official count of absentee ballots in East Hampton has changed the result of the race for town trustee, with Democrat William F. Taylor — a former harbormaster and waterways management supervisor in the town’s department of natural resources — defeating clammer Dennis Curles, a Republican.
There were 16 people running for the nine trustee seats, and Curles held enough votes to win the last seat on the machine count. But, when the absentee ballot results were added, Taylor defeated him, 2,937 to 2,739.
The change leaves five Republicans and four Democrats on the board next year, and reflects the power of minor parties to influence the vote in a small town.
Taylor got just 2,668 votes on the Democratic line, but picked up another 269 on the Working Families party line. He also defeated two other Democratic candidates who ran on a single party line, Afton DiSunno who got 2,865 votes and Loretta A. Sears who got 2,781.
Curles was the candidate of three parties, getting 1,861 votes on the Republican line, 388 on the Conservative line and 490 on the Independence Party line.