Republican Neil Manzella won a special election Tuesday to fill a...

Republican Neil Manzella won a special election Tuesday to fill a vacant seat on the Brookhaven Town Board, according to unofficial results posted by the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Credit: Neil Manzella

Republican Neil Manzella on Tuesday won a special election to fill a vacant seat on the Brookhaven Town Board.

Manzella, 36, of Selden, defeated Democrat Alyson Bass to win the 3rd Council District seat previously held by Republican Kevin LaValle, according to unofficial results posted by the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

Manzella, a deputy Brookhaven Town assessor who also ran on the Conservative line, received 1,602 votes (56.8%) and Bass received 1,215 votes (43.1%), board of elections tallies showed. There were three write-in votes.

Manzella will be sworn in after absentee ballots are counted and the vote is certified, which usually takes a week or two, town officials said.

He credited the town Republican committee with a strong voter turnout campaign.

“All you can do is get your message out to as many people as possible,” Manzella said Wednesday, adding that Bass also deserved credit for a strong turnout. “I think both sides did a great job.”

Bass and Manzella are expected to face each other again in a rematch during the November general election.

Bass said Wednesday it appeared she would not receive enough votes from absentee ballots to win the election. She said she was looking forward to the November rematch.

Brookhaven Democratic Committee chair Anthony Portesy said Wednesday he did not plan to challenge the results. He said the final vote count, including absentees, could be "the closest in decades in Brookhaven Town."

The seat has been unoccupied since February, when LaValle resigned to become town clerk. LaValle had won a January special election to replace former Town Clerk Donna Lent, who retired in November.

Manzella will complete LaValle's unexpired term, which ends Dec. 31. His victory restores Republicans' 6-1 majority on the town board.

Manzella has been Brookhaven's deputy town assessor for five years after working in information technology positions for the William Floyd and Longwood school districts and the Suffolk Board of Elections. His mother, county Republican elections commissioner Betty Manzella, had recused herself from any role in the election.

He said Wednesday he planned to meet soon with town government department heads to receive updates on issues such as upcoming road paving projects, “and get the lay of the land and see what I’m getting into.”

Bass, 47, of Ronkonkoma, is a principal assistant attorney for Suffolk County. Bass had campaigned on quality-of-life issues such as those involving parks, traffic and water quality, and said she wanted to expand the mostly residential council district's tax base.

During the campaign, Manzella said he would gather input from civic groups and chambers of commerce about quality-of-life issues, adding he would focus on making sure the district "stays safe and it stays clean."

Both candidates lamented the condition of the town's roads.

Chemical drums removed from park … National Grid proposed fee hike … Gooden honored Credit: Newsday

Updated 10 minutes ago Teen arrested with gun at school ... Chemical drums removed from Bethpage park ... Petition against armed deputies ... John Sterling retires

Chemical drums removed from park … National Grid proposed fee hike … Gooden honored Credit: Newsday

Updated 10 minutes ago Teen arrested with gun at school ... Chemical drums removed from Bethpage park ... Petition against armed deputies ... John Sterling retires

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