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Democrat Amy Keyes concedes to Republican Neil Foley in Brookhaven Town Board race

Democrat Amy Keyes, pictured in Patchogue on Saturday,

Democrat Amy Keyes, pictured in Patchogue on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, conceded defeat Wednesday in a special election to fill a vacancy on the Brookhaven Town Board. Credit: Richard T. Slattery

Democrat Amy Keyes conceded defeat Wednesday in a special election to fill a vacancy on the Brookhaven Town Board.

Unofficial tallies Wednesday afternoon showed Republican Neil Foley, a pharmaceuticals salesman and town board of zoning appeals member making his first run for elected office, had a 9,600 to 6,946 lead over Keyes, an executive assistant to County Executive Steve Bellone. The vote had yet to be certified by the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

Keyes, 30, of East Patchogue, said in an interview she would not contest the results.

"We have no regrets. We ran a really strong campaign," she said. "We just got swept out. It was just not a good year to run as a Democrat on Long Island."

Foley, 46, of Blue Point, will represent Brookhaven's 5th Council District, which covers parts of Fire Island, Patchogue Village and hamlets such as Holbrook, Medford and Holtsville. The seat had been held by Republican Tim Mazzei, who resigned in August and won a Suffolk County judgeship on Tuesday.

No date has been set to swear in Foley, a town spokesman said.

"We didn't stop working," Foley said in an interview. "I know that it's a cliche to say in politics, but we kept knocking on doors."

Foley rode a Republican wave that also saw state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) upset Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), and GOP Islip Supervisor Tom Croci defeat environmentalist Adrienne Esposito in the race to replace Zeldin.

Foley said he benefited from campaigning with Zeldin, Croci and Suffolk County Legis. John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset), who defeated Democrat Jim Gaughran in the county comptroller's race.

"A lot of those guys were seasoned veterans, and I watched and I listened," Foley said. "They were great to me. They took me in their arms."

Several voters interviewed on Tuesday said they had supported Foley even though they voted for Democrats in other races.

Ray Duffield, 66, of Blue Point, said he cast his vote for Foley because of his involvement in organizations such as the Bayport-Blue Point Little League.

"Local guys are tough to beat," Duffield said after voting at the Bayport-Blue Point Public Library. "I like anybody who's involved in the community because they give me some comfort level that they know the local issues."

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