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Brookhaven Council races remain unresolved

The outcome of two closely contested Brookhaven Town Council races remained unresolved Thursday, more than a week after Election Day.

Preliminary vote tabulations released last week showed the races for the 1st and 4th district council seats, both held by Democrats, were too close to call. Republicans had hoped to win both contests, giving them a sweep of town board seats.

Republicans won five of seven board seats on Nov. 5, with the 1st and 4th district races undecided.

Unofficial results showed Republican Michael Loguercio Jr. had upset incumbent Democrat Connie Kepert by 94 votes to win the 4th district council seat. In the 1st district, Democrat Valerie Cartright led Republican Leslea Snyder by 349 votes in the race to succeed outgoing Democrat Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld.

Final results of both elections hinged on absentee ballots that Suffolk Board of Elections officials were still counting on Thursday.

It was unclear when the elections would be certified. Election board Commissioner Anita Katz could not be reached for comment.

Kepert said Thursday she hopes to hold on to the seat she has occupied for eight years.

"We're still very much in the game," she said, adding that absentee ballots had brought her within 11 votes of overtaking Loguercio. "I gained 83 votes on the counting of the absentee ballots, so I'm very pleased with that. I think I'll end up, hopefully, winning the race."

Snyder declined to speculate on the outcome of her race, but she said Cartright's narrow lead gave her hope of winning when absentee ballots are counted. "That in itself, I think, is a really positive statement," she said. Loguercio and Cartright could not be reached for comment.

The current town board includes four Republicans, including Supervisor Edward P. Romaine, who was re-elected; two Democrats and independent Kathleen Walsh.

Republican incumbents Daniel Panico, Jane Bonner and Timothy Mazzei won. Walsh, a former Republican who ran with Democratic endorsement, was defeated by Republican challenger Kevin LaValle.

Kepert said disputed votes in her election may go before a judge, who would rule on whether those ballots are valid. She said Republicans had challenged 32 ballots, and Democrats challenged 16.

"Right now it's just a waiting game, unfortunately," she said. "I try not to think about it too much."

With Deon J. Hampton

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